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Free trade faces fallout from U.S. elections
Date: Saturday, January 27 2007
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01 / 26 / 2007 - Vol. 7, No. 2 - Calgary/Red Deer Edition



Free trade faces fallout from U.S. elections

Business could get caught in crossfire: lawyer
By Monte Stewart - Business Edge
Published: 01/26/2007 - Vol. 7, No. 2

Canadian businesses are about to get caught in the political cross-fire between U.S. President George W. Bush and Congress, says an international lawyer who specializes in NAFTA.

Barry Appleton, managing partner of Washington, D.C.-based law firm Appleton and Associates, says Bush will skirmish with Congress over Canada-U.S. trade issues as he presses for increased spending on the war in Iraq.

The president faces a tougher fight for approvals after his Republican party lost control of the Senate and House of Representatives in the U.S. mid-term election.

"He is announcing policy changes across the board," Appleton told a recent economic forum held in Vancouver. "He does not want to go quietly out into the night."

Barry Appleton
Appleton was referring to the fact that Bush's second and final term as president is nearing its end, in 2008. He will be required by law to leave office, because U.S. presidents are only allowed to serve a maximum of two four-year terms.

Appleton's comments come in wake of the controversial softwood lumber deal and tighter U.S. rules on cross-border travel, which have resulted in a sharp decline in U.S. visitors to Canada.

"Washington, D.C., is in a tremendous amount of flux right now," said Appleton.

Trade is one of the most important issues coming forward for Congress, he contended.

"Most of the people who were recently elected don't like trade very much, and they don't like trade with Mexico," said Appleton. "They don't really know that much about Canadians, unless they happen to be in the border states, in which case you substitute the word Mexican for Canadian and say the same thing (about Americans not liking trade with Canada)."

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