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Kinew urges caution when trading with U.S., discusses mining opportunities

Kinew urges caution when trading with U.S., discusses mining opportunities

WINNIPEG – Manitoba Premier Wab Kinew said the province must be careful as it manages and protects its trade relationship with the United States.

He made the remarks at a recent Manitoba Chambers of Commerce business breakfast held May 30 and added dealing with the U.S. would be a “key focus of the province’s economic growth strategy.”

“The U.S. is Manitoba’s most important market for goods and service, but people must understand that regardless of who is in power in the U.S., protectionism always looms as a threat,” Kinew said.

While former president Donald Trump would be protectionist should he regain the White House, the Joe Biden administration engages in “polite protectionism” that is equally challenging, he added.

“Manitoba’s approach is to go south of the border, meet with political representatives at the state level and to show them the numbers – the jobs and businesses in their states directly reliant on trade with Canada, the volume of goods that flow both ways,” Kinew said.

He added in a Q&A session with chamber president Chuck Davidson, that representatives on both sides of the U.S Congress aisle agree on economic and defense security, which is increasingly tied to access to critical minerals and to a deep-sea port. Manitoba has abundant critical mineral reserves along with the Port of Churchill in Hudson’s Bay.

Kinew pledged to get Manitoba natural resources developed and to market but added key must-haves of mine development include improved licensing, engagement with First Nations and revenue sharing and contextual deal-making to get the agreements to the finish line, including what specific benefits flow to First Nations – roads, access to the market through set-asides, procurement or joint venture opportunities.

“We’re going to do mining when mining is done right,” he said.

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