Obama will seek to allay fears about trade and energy.
(UPI) - President Barack Obama told a Canadian broadcaster Tuesday his first official visit to Canada this week will seek to allay fears about trade and energy.
In an interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. at the White House, Obama was reminded how he spoke against the North American Free Trade Agreement during his campaign and the ongoing push for a "Buy American" campaign."
"My administration is committed to making sure that even as we take steps to strengthen the U.S. economy that we are doing so in a way that actually, over time, will enhance the ability of trading partners, like Canada, to work within our boundaries," he said.
"We are going to abide by our World Trade Organization and NAFTA obligations just as we always have."
On the issue of Canada's oil-producing tar sands, widely criticized as "dirty" for the amount of greenhouse gases the process emits, Obama likened it to one of his own country's problems.
"The United States is the Saudi Arabia of coal, but we have our own homegrown problems in terms of dealing with a cheap energy source that creates a big carbon footprint," he said. "And so we're not going to be able to deal with any of these issues in isolation."
Obama's first international visit since being inaugurated last month will be to Ottawa at 10:30 a.m. Thursday for a day of talks with Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper and other ministers.
Another matter expected to come up will be Canada's combat role in Afghanistan, now scheduled to end in 2011.
Photo Copyright Getty Images
© YellowBrix, Inc. Copyright 1997-2009
Copyright © 2003-2013 Clear Channel. All rights reserved.