MONTREAL — The U.S. ambassador to Canada says he’s not worried about the impact of any energy agreements between Canada and China.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper visited the Asian country last week and signed several deals amid speculation of possible free-trade talks in the future between the two countries.
Ambassador David Jacobson said in Montreal on Thursday it’s good for the United States when its largest trading partner increases its trade in new markets — particularly in Asia.
“If it’s goods, there’s going to be more U.S. content that’s incorporated in those goods (and) if it’s energy, there’s going to be U.S. equipment used to extract that energy,” he told reporters.
Jacobson added that trade is not a zero-sum game —“everybody wins.”
“So, not only do I not view this as something that we should be worried about, but I view this as something that is, quite frankly, in the interests of the United States.”
Jacobson pointed out there’s plenty of oil in Alberta and elsewhere in Canada to export and he assumes markets will continue to be developed in Asia and around the world.
“But for the rest of my life and my children’s lives and probably my grandchildren’s lives, I expect that Canada and the United States will be each other’s largest trading partners,” he added.
In Toronto later in the day, Jacobson dismissed suggestions that encouraging the sale of oil to China while holding up plans for the Keystone pipeline may anger Canadians.
“Keystone has nothing to do with this,” he said after a speech to Toronto’s Board of Trade.
”The decision the president made a few weeks ago had nothing to with the viability of the pipeline, it had everything to do with the viability of the 60-day timeline.
”There isn’t even a route for the Keystone pipeline yet, there won’t be a route until probably September or October, and once they have that, TransCanada has indicated that they’re going to refile their application, and we’ll see what happens.“
Back in Montreal, the ambassador said efforts to work out a perimeter security agreement between Canada and the United States continue to move forward.
He stressed that the upcoming U.S. presidential elections have not slowed that down.
“We’re moving forward full-speed ahead,” Jacobson said. “This is one of those things that I think Republicans and Democrats agree on.
“This is going to increase commerce, it’s going to create jobs and it’s going to make us safer at the same time.”