Trade Minister Ng disappointed, not daunted by US protectionism

·1 min read

OTTAWA — Canada's trade minister says she's disappointed at some of the protectionist measures being pushed by the new Biden administration in Washington, but she's not discouraged from partnering with her country's largest trading partner to strengthen global financial institutions.

Mary Ng tells The Canadian Press that disappointment includes the revival of Buy American provisions in President Joe Biden's massive new infrastructure bill, which creates more hurdles for foreign companies to bid on lucrative projects aimed at reviving the U.S. economy after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ng is in Geneva where she is making her first visit of the COVID-19 pandemic to the seat of the World Trade Organization.

She has taken up the mantle of the Ottawa Group of about a dozen countries that aims to strengthen and reform the battered and much-maligned WTO.

The Ottawa Group was trying to keep a key WTO dispute resolution institution known as the Appellate Body from being crippled by the former U.S. administration of Donald Trump that had blocked the American appointment of new judges to the panel.

The Biden administration has yet to appoint new judges so the panel can function, a delay that has frustrated Canadian businesses.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 12, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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