December 17, 2015 / 8:59 PM / 2 years ago

UPDATE 1-Trudeau sees challenges, opportunities from cheap Canadian dollar

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VANCOUVER, Dec 17 (Reuters) - The Canadian government recognizes the challenges that a cheap currency poses and will work to ensure the country takes advantage of the low Canadian dollar, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Thursday.

"Obviously that the economy of our largest trading partner (the United States) is picking up is a good thing potentially for Canada," he told reporters in the second straight day of comments on the currency's fall.

"But whenever there are shifts in the value of the dollar, particularly decreases, there are both challenges and opportunities that arise across different sectors in the economy, and what we need to make sure we're doing as a government, as an economy, is maximizing the opportunities and minimizing the negative impacts of a decreasing dollar."

The Canadian dollar is near an 11-1/2-year low, partly as the result of U.S. dollar strength on the back of the Federal Reserve rate hike and partly due to the continued slide in the price of oil, a major Canadian export.

Trudeau said Ottawa would be working with stakeholder and other levels of government "to ensure that we are adapting and creating opportunities out of a lower dollar." (Reporting by Julie Gordon; Writing by Randall Palmer; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)

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