**Updated** Atlantic premiers discuss trade with United States, growth strategy

Promoting and strengthening trade ties with the United States was one of the main priorities discussed by Atlantic Canada's premiers during a two-day meeting in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The premiers say they are conscious of the need to promote Atlantic Canada's interests with the region's largest trading partner, especially in areas such as softwood lumber.

New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant says the four provinces plan to sell U.S. businesses on the importance of the trading relationship with Canada.

Gallant says it's a message they plan to promote "consistently and aggressively."

The premiers say trade will be a key theme when they meet with their New England counterparts in Charlottetown in August.

They say for the first time the conference will include a forum to bring together business interests from both sides of the border to discuss trade and commercial issues.