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Tim Hortons deal won't damage Canada's friendship with the U.S.: Oliver

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TORONTO - Finance Minister Joe Oliver says the takeover of Tim Hortons by U.S. fast food chain Burger King won't alienate Canada from its most important trading partner.

Burger King and Tim Hortons (TSX:THI) announced a agreement Tuesday to team up in an US$11-billion deal, creating the world's third-largest fast-food company.

The corporate headquarters of the new company will be in Canada, a move that some speculate may help Burger King lower its taxes.

U.S. President Barack Obama has criticized American companies that move to other countries in search of lower corporate tax bills.

However, Burger King executive chairman Alex Behring has said the company does not expect any meaningful change to its tax rate.

Oliver touted Canada's improved business climate — including its low corporate tax rate — at a news conference following a discussion with Canadian technology executives.

"The United States is a highly competitive economy and we have a right to determine our own fiscal policy," Oliver said.

"We believe this has been an instructive move that has been designed to retain capital in the country, which results in more business expansion and employment."

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