CANADIAN, LAKES OFFICIALS DISCUSS TRADE WITH EUROPE

CANADIAN, LAKES OFFICIALS DISCUSS TRADE WITH EUROPE

This western New York city on Lake Erie plays host today to talks between Great Lakes governors and the premiers of Quebec and Ontario on how changes in Europe will affect trade in North America.

The event, sponsored by the Council of Great Lakes governors, is billed as the first Border Compact Roundtable. It was given the green light at a meeting in Toronto a year ago.Business executives will join the governors and the premiers from the two Canadian provinces in exchanges of views on the theme of "North American partnerships for a changing Europe."

According to a statement by the Chicago-based Council of Great Lakes governors, the regional leaders will explore ways of sharing resources as they face new trade challenges in Europe.

A major area of concern is a more competitive European environment for U.S. and Canadian goods and services as the European Community becomes a single, integrated market in 1992.

The United States and Canada are each other's biggest trading partner, with two-way trade exceeding US$170 billion. More than half of this bilateral trade originates in the Great Lakes region.

The eight Great Lakes states recently opened a joint trade office in Toronto, Canada's leading financial and industrial center.

They are examining the possibility of sending a joint trade mission to Brussels next year to assess the feasibility of establishing a Great Lakes trade office in the capital of the EC.

At the talks, Andreas van Agt, head of the EC Commission delegation in Washington, will outline recent developments in both Eastern and Western Europe.

Other subjects to be discussed include state and provincial trade strategies and means of enhancing the competitive strength of North American enterprises in Europe.