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Manitoba, North Dakota Business Chambers Talk Trade Tariffs

July 11, 2018 7:43 AM | News

United States - Canada

U.S. and Canadian flags fly in Point Roberts, Wash., on Tuesday, March 13, 2012. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)

WINNIPEG — Manitoba business leaders have wrapped up two days of meetings in North Dakota to talk trade with their American counterparts.

Representatives from the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce and Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce made the trip south to Bismarck as tense trade talks continue between leaders of both countries.

Manitoba’s delegation is advocating for continued open-trade borders despite the recent steel and aluminium tariffs imposed by the U.S. government and subsequent retaliatory measures taken by the Canadian government.

“While we support the decision by the Prime Minister, we strongly believe adding barriers to trade will result in no winners, and only add to increased and unneeded tensions between our two countries,” said Chuck Davidson, president and CEO of the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce.

“North Dakota is our closest trading partner and we, as a chamber network, must continue to share the importance of trade and not let tariffs impact businesses in our two jurisdictions.”

Nearly $500 million worth of Manitoba exports crossed into North Dakota in 2017, while the province imported more than $900 million from the state during the same period. Manitoba does about $10 billion worth of export trades to the U.S. annually, while importing about $17 billion worth of goods.

Manitoba and Saskatchewan’s delegation met with representatives with the Minot, Grand Forks, Bismarck, and Greater North Dakota Chambers of Commerce.