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Former United States Trade Representative Bill Brock Addresses Baylor and Community Leaders

Jan. 16, 2004

IMPORTANCE OF U.S.-CANADA TRADE RELATIONSHIP HIGHLIGHTED BEFORE

WACO BUSINESS LEADERS AND BAYLOR UNIVERSITY FACULTY AND STUDENTS

Senator Bill Brock, Co-Chair of the U.S.-Canada Partnership for Growth, former U.S. Trade Representative and Senator from Tennessee, today addressed Baylor University's McBride Center for International Business, underscoring the importance of the U.S.-Canada trade relationship to Texas.  Recently, the Government of Canada opened a Houston consulate office.  Because Houston is one of the U.S.'s economic power centers, the new office is important to fostering U.S. and Canada relations.

Before an audience of Waco-area business and civic leaders and Baylor University faculty and students, Brock discussed the political implications of the new Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin and the positive impact of NAFTA on its 10th anniversary.  Brock urged policymakers not to lose sight of the economic significance of the U.S. and Canada trade relationship when approaching current international trade issues and disputes.

"The U.S. and Canada enjoy the largest trading relationship in the world, generating $500 billion in two-way trade each year - or almost $1.3 billion each day," stated Brock.  "Canada buys more U.S. goods and services than any other country.  In Texas, trade with Canada has more than doubled since NAFTA was signed a decade ago, and was worth nearly $14.6 billion in 2002."

Texas exports more than $1 billion of computers to Canada, in addition to exports of unshaped plastics and motor vehicle parts.  On the import side, Texas imports nearly $800 million worth of crude petroleum, making it the state's top Canadian import, followed by organic chemicals and motor vehicle parts. 

Today, however, Brock noted the U.S.-Canada relationship is strained because of certain trade issues that are distorting the free market and threatening jobs on both sides of the border.

"The U.S. and Canada have a common economic outlook on the world and a mutual commitment to security," said Brock.  "Therefore, as we approach trade issues, it is important to keep these common beliefs in mind so we can keep this valuable relationship on track.  One way to do that is by reaffirming our position as a free trader and underscoring the vital role free trade can play in our economic recovery and our economic destiny." 

"Trade is a complex process with rules that call for constant interpretation," Brock went on to say. "We will make our mark as a trading partner with Canada and the world in how we work through that process so all sides to a dispute can live with the outcome." 

Citing the current lumber dispute as an example, Brock said that "putting an end to the lumber dispute can get an important relationship back on track, reaffirm our position as a committed free trader, and give the economy of Texas and the rest of the country a much-needed boost."

The U.S.-Canada Partnership for Growth is an alliance of individuals and organizations that share a common desire to secure and strengthen what is the largest trading relationship in the world.  The Partnership is focused on raising awareness of the severe strains and the significant economic risks faced by our two countries as a result of America's 27% import tax on softwood lumber imports from Canada.  The Partnership is co-chaired by William E. Brock, former Republican senator from Tennessee and former United States Trade Representative, and James J. Blanchard, former Democratic governor of Michigan and former U.S. Ambassador to Canada.  For more information, visit our website at www.partnershipforgrowth.org.

Baylor University has more than 14,000 students, and its nationally recognized academic divisions provide 164 baccalaureate degree programs at the undergraduate level.  The Baylor Business undergraduate program ranks in 53rd place, in the top 14%, of accredited collegiate business programs in U.S. News and World Report.  The MBA program is rated in the top 20% of accredited collegiate business programs in U.S. News and World Report. In addition, the MBA program is one of the "Top 80 Business Schools in America," in The Princeton Review.  In 1992, the McBride Center for International Business was established to provide general coordination and support of all our international activities.  Supported by an endowment from the estate of Mayo McBride of Woodville, Texas, the McBride Center is headed by its Director, Professor Stephen Gardner, and its Associate Director, Professor Joseph McKinney.

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