President Bush heads for Canada this afternoon for two days of talks, his first official trip to that nation after nearly four years in office. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says Bush’s visit to Canada should help patch up relations with our neighbor to the north, which Grassley says have been strained. Grassley says the trip “is very positive for Iowa and for the United States as a whole” because the relationship between our countries has “soured” since Canada doesn’t support the U.S.-led war in Iraq. Grassley says there is an “undercurrent” in Canada that Americans ignore Canada and don’t care what Canadians think. Grassley says Bush’s trip to two locations in Canada should be a reaffirmation to the Canadian people that our friendship is very strong. Grassley says there could be one negative side effect from Bush’s trade mission to Canada — and it deals with the livestock industry and Mad Cow disease. He says Canada is putting a lot of pressure on the U.S. to lift its embargo of Canadian beef which, if it happens, would likely drop beef prices for U.S. producers. Grassley says Canada will eventually be able to guarantee the safety of its beef supply and the U.S. will again accept exports of Canadian beef — just as the U.S. is pushing Japan to take American beef after a Mad Cow scare one year ago.
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