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The Hamilton Spectator
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February 6, 2001
With Mexico waiting for today's arrival of U.S. President George W. Bush -- his much trumpeted "first foreign visit" -- Canada's ambassador says it doesn't matter.

Canada, traditionally destination of choice for new presidents, doesn't feel slighted.

"It's a silly game, who goes first, and who doesn't," Ambassador Keith Christie said in an interview this week. What matters, he added, is that Canadian, Mexican and U.S. officials "have all met and they are talking and the chemistry is good."

However, Christie said Mexico could well overtake Canada as first trading partner.

"If -- when -- Mexico becomes a country with a per capita income of $20,000 -- and the population by that time will be well over 100 million people -- they will become the United States' No. 1 trading partner -- but so what?" he said.

"It's a phony debate. At the moment, we are the United States' No. 1 trading partner, and we are going to be No. 1 for the foreseeable future."

Mexico (population 100 million, per capita income, $8,690) is agog over the Bush visit. Source.
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