STILL BUYING AMERICAN
In his first full week as U.S. ambassador to Canada, David Jacobson is already running into complaints over protectionist policies in the U.S. stimulus bill that cut out Canada from lucrative business deals.
Daniel Sullivan, Canada’s consul general in New York, compared the so-called “Buy American” provision in the stimulus bill to the type of trade measures in the 1930s that “triggered a retaliatory cycle that deepened the Great Depression.” The bill encourages U.S. localities to purchase American goods and services with federal stimulus money.
“These provisions not only work against the spirit of our larger trading relationship - a relationship that is unique in history - but they simply don’t work,” he said in an article reprinted Sunday by Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, an influential newsletter for corporate attorneys.
Mr. Sullivan noted that U.S.-Canada trade amounts to an astounding $2 million “every minute of every day” and that Canada buys four times more U.S. goods than Britain, China, Germany and Japan combined.
“Mindful of the deep interconnectedness of the American and Canadian economies, Canada has consciously avoided discriminatory trade measures that would keep U.S. suppliers out of the Canadian market,” Mr. Sullivan wrote.
“By contrast, the discriminatory ‘Buy American’ provisions in the U.S. stimulus package are keeping long-established Canadian suppliers out of the New York market and affecting jobs on both side of the border.”
Mr. Jacobson acknowledged the controversy in remarks Friday, after he presented his diplomatic credentials to Governor-General Michaelle Jean, who represents Canada’s head of state, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II.
“I understand both the concerns in Canada and the concerns in the United States,” Mr. Jacobson told reporters in Ottawa, the Canadian capital.
Mr. Jacobson, a Chicago lawyer and prominent fundraiser for President Obama, said he plans to get to know Canada by touring the 10 provinces over the next six weeks.
NEW FROM ITALY
The new Italian ambassador comes with an impressive resume with foreign policy experience in many of the world’s trouble spots.
Giulio Terzi di Sant’Agata, who arrived in Washington on Oct. 1, served as Italy’s ambassador to the United Nations from Aug. 20, 2008, until Sept. 30. He was ambassador to Israel from 2002 to 2004, an assignment that saw the outbreak of a Palestinian uprising known as the “Second Intifada.”
At the Foreign Ministry in Rome, Mr. Terzi di Sant’Agata served as deputy secretary-general, as director-general for multilateral political affairs and human rights and as political director. In those positions, he dealt with a variety of international organizations from the United Nations to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
He also served at Italian diplomatic missions in France, Canada and at the United Nations in New York. Mr. Terzi di Sant’Agata replaced Ambassador Giovanni Castellaneta.
The U.S. ambassador in Japan says the Obama administration is prepared to give the new government time to review a defense agreement with Washington on the withdrawal of U.S. Marines and the relocation of a major U.S. air base.
“We view the United States and Japan as partners, equal partners,” Ambassador John Roos told the Associated Press and other reporters in Tokyo on Friday.
Japan’s new prime minister, Yukio Hatoyama, plans to govern more independently from previous administrations. Three years ago, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party concluded a new defense pact that would transfer 8,000 U.S. Marines to Guam and relocate the U.S. air base from Okinawa’s Futenma airport.
• Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297, fax 202/832-7278 or e-mail jmorrison @washingtontimes.com.