Canadian and American business communities must work harder than ever to protect and enhance their USD 627.8 billion trade relationship. That was the message delivered by Canadian Chamber of Commerce CEO and President, the Hon. Perrin Beatty at the New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers Conference (NEG-ECP) in Charlottetown, PEI, when he spoke to the assembled leaders and delegates.
“Last year, USD 27.5 billion in bilateral trade flowed between New England and Canada. Altogether, 429,600 jobs in the New England states depend on Canada-US trade. Although these are tremendous numbers, they can still be improved, something that will require true leadership from the business sector and elected officials on both sides of the border. Through discussions with our American counterparts, we can continue to work on strengthening the most profitable trade relationship in the world,” Mr. Beatty said after the panel.
Mr. Beatty was speaking at the annual event, which is held to advance the interests of the New England states–Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont–and the five Eastern provinces of New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Quebec.
“Not surprisingly, the recurring focus of everyone’s discussions was the renegotiation of NAFTA and how provincial and state representatives can combat the current protectionist threats to our respective economies. These are the same concerns we’re hearing from businesses across Canada right now,” Mr. Beatty said. “It’s more important than ever that we work closely with our American partners to protect our mutually beneficial trade relations, and to enhance regulatory cooperation, labour mobility and overall North American competitiveness,” he added.
Mr. Beatty also met with the Premier of Nova Scotia, the Hon. Stephen McLean, the Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Hon. Dwight Ball and with the Governor of Maine, the Hon. Paul LePage, to discuss specific measures the subnational jurisdictions can work on to enhance economic collaborations.
Immediately following the conference, Mr. Beatty will be heading to Texas for a trade mission organized by the Canadian and U.S. chambers. There, he will meet with local and state representatives and businesses to highlight the crucial economic links between the two regions.