Premier Brad Wall will be talking free trade Sunday and Monday at a meeting of western state governors in Whitefish, Montana.
Wall will be giving the governors the same message he gave while in both Iowa and Washington about how Canada and the U.S. have benefited greatly from liberalized trade and how that must continue — even under a renegotiation of North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
He says any renegotiation of NAFTA must recognize just how integrated supply chains between Canada, Saskatchewan and the U.S. have become.
Wall says it’s a message he believes the governors have already accepted, but he wants to reinforce it.
“For the most part, the Western governors have been very understanding of the importance of trading with Canada and wanting to ensure that there isn’t that sort of protectionist vibe,” explained Wall. “But I don’t think we should leave it to chance — I think we should be proactive.”
Wall will also use the meeting to underscore the value of building the Keystone XL pipeline, and making continued investments in carbon capture and storage research.
The Premier will also meet individually with the governors of North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming.
Specifically, Wall says Saskatchewan’s relationship with North Dakota is especially strong and he hopes to keep it that way.
“In the case of North Dakota, it’s everything from economic issues to trade issues, but also the flooding and drainage issues,” said Wall. “We’re always in those things together, so I think it’s important that we make sure we’re taking to North Dakota on a regular basis.”
While in Whitefish, he’ll also tell the attending governors how Saskatchewan sees eye to eye with them when it comes to the North American energy independence and security, and how the province and the western states can work together on meeting objectives.