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Doug Ford and Chrystia Freeland put forward united front on U.S. trade dispute

Click to play video: 'Doug Ford talks trade with Crystia Freeland' Doug Ford talks trade with Crystia Freeland
WATCH: Doug Ford talks trade with Crystia Freeland – Jun 14, 2018

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and Ontario’s incoming premier Doug Ford say they are committed to working together to resolve the ongoing trade dispute with the U.S.

The pair met at Queen’s Park on Thursday afternoon, with Freeland having returned from Washington, where she met U.S. officials to discuss the tariff dispute and NAFTA negotiations.

READ MORE: Freeland vows ‘real push’ to seek NAFTA agreement over summer

Premier-designate Ford pointed out that Ontario alone does $390 billion worth of trade with the U.S., and said he hoped to boost that figure even further.

“We’re going to work hard to keep our economic ties with the U.S. strong, because the relationship between Canada and the United States is the greatest economic relationship in the entire world,” said Ford.

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“We have a great relationship with the United States — a great business relationship, personal relationship, largest unprotected border with the world. The fight shouldn’t be with Canada in my opinion.”

Ford also reiterated his previous stance about standing “shoulder-to-shoulder” with the Trudeau government in their pursuit of an “acceptable” trade deal with the U.S.

WATCH: ‘The fight shouldn’t be with Canada,’ says Doug Ford on tariffs

Click to play video: 'Doug Ford on tariffs: ‘the fight shouldn’t be with Canada’' Doug Ford on tariffs: ‘the fight shouldn’t be with Canada’
Doug Ford on tariffs: ‘the fight shouldn’t be with Canada’ – Jun 14, 2018

Freeland said she appreciated Ford’s support, and that of other Canadian premiers.

“One of the things which has been so valuable to Canada as we have gone into these conversations is the fact that Canada is playing as a totally united team. That is absolutely essential, that is a powerful message for all Canadians and for all Americans,” said Freeland.

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“Canada is the single largest market for the United States — larger than China, Japan and the U.K. combined. They’re important to us, we’re also really important to them.”

WATCH: Freeland says Canada is ‘single largest market’ for United States

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Canada is ‘single largest market’ for United States: Freeland – Jun 14, 2018

Freeland said details of Canada’s tariff counter-measures were still being worked out, with specific items on the list to be ironed out after hearing from stakeholders.

She also added that Canada wasn’t the only country to protest the U.S. trade measures, pointing out that the European Union, Mexico, Japan and Thailand have all raised cases with the World Trade Organization.

“This is now really the reality, that the world is saying this action from the United States is illegal and justified, and we’re making that case.”

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