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Secretary Gale met with Jamshed Merchant, the new Consul General of Canada February 7, 2013. As Nebraska's chief protocol officer, Gale was delighted to discuss Nebraska and Canada relations with him and plan some future events.

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Merchant is stationed in Minneapolis and serves the upper Midwest states of Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota. In 2011, two-way trade between Canada and the five state region was $35 billion and supported 343,800 U.S. jobs. The new Keystone pipeline, which will cross Nebraska, is a matter of vital concern to Canada and is now in the hands of our U.S. President for final approval.