Entries in Stephen Harper (2)


America's Loss, China's Gain: Obama's Keystone Decision Has Canada Planning More Oil Shipments to Asia

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama’s decision to reject the Keystone XL pipeline application -- against the advice of his own Jobs Panel's reccomendation for an "all in" energy policy -- was met with disappointment by critics here and our friends north of the border.

In a statement, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s office said that President Obama called him Wednesday morning.

“The president explained that the decision was not a decision on the merits of the project and that it was without prejudice, meaning that TransCanada is free to reapply,” said the statement.  “Prime Minister Harper expressed his profound disappointment with the news.  He indicated to President Obama that he hoped that this project would continue given the significant contribution it would make to jobs and economic growth both in Canada and the United States of America.”

Thanks to Obama's decision, the United States' loss will be China's -- and the rest of Asia's -- gain.

Pointedly, the statement says that Harper, “reiterated to the president that Canada will continue to work to diversify its energy exports.”

That means Canada will explore selling more of its oil to Asia.

As Canada’s Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver told the CBC: “Our focus is, as you know, on diversifying our markets.  We currently have one customer for our energy exports.  That customer has said that it doesn’t want to expand at the moment.  So it certainly intensifies the broad strategic objective of the government to diversify to Asia.”

President Obama’s readout of the phone call is somewhat less informative: “President Obama called Prime Minister Harper to personally convey his Administration’s decision on the Keystone pipeline,” the White House statement reads.  “The President also reaffirmed the close alliance and friendship between the United States and Canada.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


US, Canada Announce New Border Agreement

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The United States and Canada Wednesday announced new border security, trade and regulatory agreements intended to boost economic growth and job creation in both countries.

“Put simply, we’re going to make it easier to conduct the trade and travel that creates jobs, and we’re going to make it harder for those who would do us harm and threaten our security,” President Obama said following a bilateral meeting at the White House with Prime Minster Stephen Harper of Canada.

“Some 90 percent of all our trade -- more than a billion dollars in trade every single day -- passes through our roads, our bridges and our ports.  But because of old systems and heavy congestion, it still takes too many products too long to cross our borders. And for every business, either Canadian or American, time is money,” Obama said.

The president said plans to cut red tape and harmonize regulations between the U.S. and Canada will help “strike a better balance with sensible regulations that unleash trade and job creation, while still protecting public health and safety.”

Harper hailed the deals as the most significant steps forward in Canada-U.S. cooperation since the North American Free Trade Agreement.

“These agreements create a new, modern order for a new century,” Harper said.

Canada and the U.S. have the largest bilateral trade and investment relationship in the world. Total trade and investment between the United States and Canada topped $1.1 trillion in 2010.

As Canadian reporters noted earlier Wednesday, while the deals have received significant media coverage in Canada, they have gone largely unnoticed in the U.S.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio