One hundred twenty days for fair trade deal, say municipalities



    WHISTLER, B.C., June 6 /CNW Telbec/ - Statement by Jean Perrault,
President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) and Mayor of
Sherbrooke, Que., on today's adoption of a fair trade resolution by FCM's
membership:

    "Today, Canada's cities and communities joined the federal and provincial
governments in a common front to try and stop American protectionism.
    We stand united in the belief that fair trade and an even playing field
are in the best interest of our country, our communities and our citizens.
    By supporting the resolution brought forward by the Town of Halton Hills,
Ont., our members have strengthened Canada's bargaining position.
    By holding back from endorsing countervailing procurement measures for
120 days, we recognized the Prime Minister's commitment to finding a solution
to this issue.
    The timeframe of 120 days will give the Canadian and U.S. governments
some breathing room. At the same time, it will continue to shine a light on
this issue and ensure that everyone's energies remain focussed on finding a
quick resolution.
    This U.S. protectionist policy is hurting Canadian firms, costing
Canadian jobs and damaging Canadian efforts to grow our economy in the midst
of a worldwide recession.
    It was municipalities that pushed this issue to the top of the national
agenda. We did it by pointing to the damage that protectionism can do, not
just to trading relations, but to communities and their residents.
    The government's decision to urgently seek a bilateral deal was the right
thing to do.
    Over the next 120 days we will support the government's efforts and have
offered to assist by providing expertise on local procurement and making the
case to our municipal counterparts in the United States.
    We are prepared to work closely with Minister Day and the provinces to
push for fair trade between our two countries and a deal that protects jobs
and the interests of our communities and their residents.
    A solution is urgently needed. Jobs are on the line."




For further information:

For further information: Jocelyn Sweet, (613) 907-6395, jsweet@fcm.ca

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Federation of Canadian Municipalities

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