Canadian rep touts trade with U.S. at IUN luncheon
By Carole Carlson firstname.lastname@example.org | 648-3154 May 23, 2012 8:18PM
Updated: July 3, 2012 9:08AM
GARY — A representative of the Consulate General of Canada described the relationship between his country and the United States with a John F. Kennedy quote: “... Necessity has made us allies.”
Brian Herman, consul and head of political, economic and public affairs for the Canadian consulate, spoke at a luncheon sponsored by the Indiana University Northwest School of Business and Economics and World Trade Council Wednesday.
Herman, who has spent most of his career in Canada’s foreign service, spoke in broad terms about the integrated economies of both countries.
Fourteen states share a border with Canada.
He said 400,000 people cross the border every day, many for their jobs.
“We believe deeper trade will create more jobs on both sides of the border,” he said.
Herman, who described Canada as one of the most trade-dependent countries in the world, said Indiana ranked No. 10 in trade with Canada at $18 billion last year.
Herman said Canada buys more from the United States than from China and the European Union.
The development of oil sands in the Alberta province is creating thousands of U.S. jobs, he said.
“We’ve made significant strides in reducing pollution involved with oil sands. No one shies away from meeting environmental standards. Alberta was the first government to regulate greenhouse gas,” he said.
Canada and the U.S. are also part of a clean energy dialogue, Herman said.
When asked if he thought President Obama would change his mind about construction of the Keystone Pipeline XL that would supply oil sands from Alberta to the Gulf Coast, Herman turned diplomat.
“We would like the Keystone Pipeline to proceed, but we respect the U.S. regulatory process.”
Herman said the pipeline developer, the TransCanada Corp., is working with Nebraska officials for a new route.
The pipeline faced criticism from environmentalists because of its route through an environmentally sensitive region in Nebraska.
Obama postponed action on the pipeline until 2013, drawing criticism from Republicans in Congress.