Secretary Clinton is traveling in Canada, stopping in Ottawa and Gatineau, March 29-30, 2010, for the G-8 Foreign Ministers meeting. On March 29, Secretary Clinton met with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Following their meeting the Secretary said, "I thank you Prime Minister, once again, for the hospitality and leadership. Canada has been such a close friend and ally. And your work on behalf of Haiti--as we were just talking before the press came in, the UN Conference in New York tomorrow, and Canada has been one of the leaders in driving that process. Hosting the G-8 and G-20 later in the year. And we look forward to welcoming you to Washington for the Nuclear Security Summit."
Yesterday, Secretary Clinton also met with U.S. Embassy Ottawa employees and their families. In her remarks, the Secretary underscored the importance of the U.S.-Canadian relationship. She said, "It is a relationship of family. It's a relationship, obviously, of the longest, most peaceful border in the world. It's a strategic relationship on so many fronts."
The Secretary continued, "And the United States and Canada have the closest economic relationship of any two nations in history. Our partnership truly is the engine of the world's economy, and I'm confident that we both will emerge from the recent economic downturn even stronger and more prosperous than before.
"One-third of the Canadian economy depends on trade with the United States, and Canada is our largest trading partner. So we really produce a lot of jobs on both sides of the border for a lot of Canadians and Americans. Whether it's the automobile industry working side-by-side in Windsor and Detroit, or energy partnerships that use the skills and talents of both of our countries, we are a testament to open and free trade.
"We also have worked together for over 60 years in the mutual defense of North America through our joint efforts such as NORAD. We are partners in NATO, we are allies in many places around the world. And we have so much that is important for us to do, and we're going to be holding discussions tonight and tomorrow in preparation for the G-8 meeting here in Canada in the summer.
"So I just can't say enough about how critical each of you is to promoting, deepening, broadening, and strengthening the relationship between our two countries."
Read the Secretary's full remarks here.