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Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper (L) looks at South Korean President Park Geun-hye during a joint news conference after their meeting at the presidential Blue House in Seoul, March 11, 2014.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper (L) looks at South Korean President Park Geun-hye during a joint news conference after their meeting at the presidential Blue House in Seoul, March 11, 2014.
(POOL/REUTERS)

Auto industry could be Harper’s biggest ally in ambitious trade plan

They were, for a prime minister, remarkably sharp words. In Seoul this week, Stephen Harper took direct aim at Ford Motor Co. of Canada Ltd., dressing the company down for what he called duplicity in its criticism of the newly concluded free-trade agreement with South Korea.

It’s more than a little ironic, then, that car makers form the Prime Minister’s best hope at furthering his trade ambitions with Japan, where a new round of free-trade talks will start in less than two weeks.