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Canada's ambassador to U.S. shares most Biden priorities, worries about his 'buy America' policy

·1 min read

TORONTO, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Canada's ambassador to the United States said on Sunday that while the two countries have shared vision on many issues, President-elect Joe Biden's economic policy is slightly more protectionist than what Canada would like.

While Ottawa has been quick to embrace of Biden in an effort to turn the page on the Donald Trump era, the incoming U.S. administration's "buy America" policy is worrying to Canada.

"I do think that he's been pretty clear around some of the aspects of his economic policy that are a little more protectionist than we would want to see," Ambassador Kirsten Hillman told Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

Biden's economic program promises a $400 billion investment in U.S.-made goods and says "when we spend taxpayer money, we should buy American products".

This could harm Canada because its economy is highly dependent on United States, which takes 75% of all Canadian goods exports.

Other than that, the two countries have common agenda on many other policies, Hillman said.

"We are both focusing on, first and foremost, combating COVID, ensuring the safety and health of our citizens, respecting science...There's a lot of alignment on climate policy...So, I mean, the list is long of policy coordination," she added.

Mired in a long-running diplomatic dispute with China and weighing a possible snap election this year, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has much riding on his ties with Biden.

Hillman said Trudeau and Biden have a very warm and good relationship. "So that is definitely going to be an asset."

(Reporting by Denny Thomas; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)