Canadian Chamber President has completed a trade promotion visit through South Carolina, Virginia and Washington D.C., holding meetings with Governors, Secretaries of Commerce and Chamber of Commerce executives to strengthen business ties between Canada and its most important trade partner. The mission was the result of collaboration between the business community and the government of Canada and is part of the Canadian Chamber’s U.S. trade promotion strategy.
During the last stop in Washington, D.C., Mr. Beatty explained: “The U.S. administration might be taking protectionist actions, but what we’re seeing at the state level is that they are still very much open for business, and willing to collaborate with Canada. Like Virginia, many states have Canada as their main export market. The Governors understand that their states could lose as much as we would from protectionism.”
During his tour, Mr. Beatty met with South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster, South Carolina Secretary of Commerce Robert M. Hitt III, Canadian Consul-General Louise Blais, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade Todd P. Haymore and Virginia Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Barry DuVal, as well as multiple local, state and national media outlets in order to raise awareness of the issues around Canada-U.S. trade.
“In South Carolina, over 165 000 jobs depend on the trade relationship with Canada, but many people aren’t aware of that fact. It’s important to raise awareness. By working with our pro-trade allies across the U.S. to ensure that Canadian businesses aren’t treated unfairly, we can build partnerships that benefit both countries. And if that’s difficult with the U.S. Administration, we have great success at the state level,” said Mr. Beatty.
The mission took place as many trade-related announcements were being made, including plans to impose new duties on Canadian softwood lumber, reports that President Trump has prepared an executive order to withdraw the United States from NAFTA and the announcement of the President’s new tax reform plan.
“It was the right time to be here as these announcements were being made. Since we were already talking with U.S. political leaders, we were able to make sure they had the facts about Canada-U.S. trade. I also invited the officials we met to come to Canada shortly, so that they can see firsthand what Canadian business has to offer,” concluded Mr. Beatty.