OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada's government, eager to sidestep potentially protectionist U.S. policies, said on Friday it was confident that new President Donald Trump would see that working closely with Canada benefited both nations' economies.
Trump - who is committed to renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Canada and Mexico - said during his inauguration speech that his administration would stick to a policy of "Buy American."
Canada sends 75 percent of its exports to the United States and could be crippled by any new U.S. measures designed to restrict imports.
"We are confident the new Administration will see that Canada's partnership with the U.S. mutually strengthens our two nations and provides real opportunities to grow our respective economies," Joseph Pickerill, spokesman for Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, said in a statement.
Officials working for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have held several meetings with the Trump team, stressing that Canada is the top export destination for 35 U.S. states and that 9 million U.S. jobs depend on trade with Canada.
Separately, Trudeau issued a statement congratulating Trump.
"Together, we benefit from robust trade and investment ties, and integrated economies, that support millions of Canadian and American jobs," he said.
(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)