Vive Le Canada

Martin lectures Bush at international summit on U.S. protectionism
Date: Saturday, November 19 2005

Martin lectures Bush at international summit on U.S. protectionism
02:15:33 EST Nov 18, 2005

Prime Minister Paul Martin, Mexican President Vicent Fox, and U.S. President George W. Bush, left to right, chat prior to their meeting as part of the APEC summit in Busan, South Korea.

BUSAN, South Korea (CP) - Prime Minister Paul Martin used an international summit to lecture U.S. President George W. Bush about protectionism on softwood lumber Friday, labelling it a threat to global free trade.

In a four-country leaders' meeting during the Asia-Pacific summit, Martin told Bush that U.S. tariffs on lumber send a warning to smaller countries considering trade deals with Washington. Martin intervened as the leaders of Canada, U.S., Mexico and Peru discussed building a Free Trade Area of the Americas and knocking down trade barriers at the World Trade Organization.

He argued that American behaviour in the softwood dispute runs contrary to its goal of liberalized trade.

"Look, if the higher good of the United States is to have a free trade agreement of the Americas or free trade here (in the Pacific Rim) people are going to look askance if those agreements - once signed - are not honoured," is how Martin summed up his message.

"I told him, 'The problem you Americans have is if you can't agree with your best ally - Canada - and you have the same problem with Mexico, how are you going to convince the rest of Latin America that it's a good idea?' "

This article comes from Vive Le Canada

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