Latest US fiscal drama could impact Canadian economy Flaherty warns

OTTAWA — Finance Minister Jim Flaherty says he is concerned about the impact the latest budget battle in the United States will have on Canadian exports.The finance minister says he believes the so-called sequestration crisis — involving about US$85-billion in spending cuts — will be a tempest in a teapot in terms of U.S. economic growth.[np_storybar title=”Massive U.S. cuts set to hit Canadians hard with border delays” link=””%5D Canadians who were promised a speedier crossing at the U.S. border could discover in the coming months that the lineups have only grown longer.As the clock ticked down to a political showdown in Washington on Friday, it appeared clear that Canada will be sideswiped by massive budget cuts — known as sequestration — set to take effect.Continue reading. [/np_storybar]But he says the potential for border tie-ups as the U.S. lays off border guards could slow trade routes between the two countries, and have on impact on Canada’s economy.U.S. homeland security chief Janet Napolitano has estimated the cuts could affect the equivalent of about 5,000 border patrol agent positions, many on the Canada-U.S. border.Flaherty says as regrettable as the current impasse is, a bigger problem is that U.S. politicians have been unable to come up with a viable long-term plan to handle budget issues, something he believes drains confidence.The Canadian Press