Canadian minister says US Volcker trading ban violates

Canada's Finance Minister Joe Oliver.

NAFTA, NEW YORK - The US ban on its banks trading Canadian debt likely violates an international agreement between the nations, Canadian Finance Minister Joe Oliver said on Wednesday, urging American lawmakers to adjust the so-called Volcker Rule.

The rule, meant to curb risky Wall Street trading seen to worsen the 2007-2009 financial crisis, generally stops US banks from proprietary trading of non-US government bonds.

"I believe - with strong legal basis - that this rule violates the terms of the NAFTA agreement," Oliver said of the North American Free Trade Agreement between Canada, the United States and Mexico.

"I hope the United States administration sees that changing the Volcker Rule is in its own best interests and that of its biggest trading partner," he added in a speech at a Canada-US conference in New York.