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US, Canada In Randy Quaid Trade Talks
WASHINGTON (CAP) - Fresh off a two-week trip to Asia and a quick stop in Australia, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is now preparing to spend a couple days north of the border meeting with Canadian authorities to negotiate the return of actor Randy Quaid and his wife to American soil. The news comes as the celebrity couple continues to miss court dates in Santa Barbara, Calif.
"Randy's behavior has not met our hopes and expectations over the past 20 months," Clinton said at a press conference prior to her departure. "Let me be clear: we are not engaging with Canada over a two-bit actor for engagement's sake. We are engaging to advance our interests and to find areas where cooperation can promote mutual interests."
To that end, Clinton said Canada must agree to some concessions before the US will entertain the idea of taking the Quaids back. Among the items for consideration would be a halt to the export of asbestos to developing nations for use in construction materials, a plan to improve the country's environmental scorecard among the G8 nations, or perhaps a simple celebrity swap.
"The carcinogenic dangers of chrysotile asbestos are well documented, but of equal concern is the public safety hazard of allowing Tom Green to continue to thrive in American culture," said Surgeon General Regina Benjamin. "While the collective American mental health quotient takes a hit with the re-introduction of Randy Quaid, we can obtain a zero net change if we can ditch Celine Dion, too."
Randy Quaid and wife Evi fled to Canada in mid-October after a warrant was issued for their arrest for allegedly squatting in a California home they had previously owned. The duo sought asylum under Canadian law, claiming supposed "star whackers" wanted to murder them in the US. While Canada's Immigration and Refugee Protection Act does not discriminate on the basis of the reason why someone is seeking asylum, US state officials believe loopholes in the law could allow for the Quaids' return to the US.
"Wording is such that Canada will grant, quote, refugee protection to persons who are displaced, persecuted or in danger," said US Department of State spokesman Philip Crowley. "However, the act also discusses promoting international justice, quote, by denying access to Canadian territory to persons who are criminals, security risks, or just plain nuts.
"We're pretty confident he fits that bill," Crowley added.
GOP congressional leaders are questioning President Obama's level of effort in the Quaid trade talks, noting that the US had been running at a Quaid surplus for some time but is currently maintaining a balanced Quaid quota by depleting an expendable Quaid resource while retaining key Quaid collateral most beneficial to Americans.
"Unlike 2006 when we lost Chris Penn instead of brother Sean and the GDP (Gross Domestic Penn) plummeted, we think our current Quaid balance preserves our best natural resources," said Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA). "Granted, Dennis has run a bit dry since his outstanding performance in 1998's The Parent Trap, but we believe he puts our best foot forward."
Clinton's meeting with Canada will mark the first time the two nations have sat at the table to discuss trade since agreeing to swap Texas for Quebec earlier this year.
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