Business associations pledged to work with the Canadian government to help ensure that U.S. legislators are aware of the millions of American jobs that depend on the Canada-U.S. relationship. Meeting with 20 associations representing hundreds of thousands of businesses, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce discussed the groundwork for a trans-border commerce strategy designed to expand business relationships with the United States and the world.
“The U.S. government is not just the President – it’s a democracy with many moving parts and levels. We have to make sure everyone is aware of why Canada is a vital partner. For example, over 211,000 jobs in Massachusetts depend on trade with Canada. In Michigan, it’s 229,000 jobs. Those are numbers U.S. lawmakers can readily understand,” said the Hon. Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.
The meeting was joined by MP Andrew Leslie, parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and special advisor on Canada-U.S. Relations. Participants welcomed Mr. Leslie’s early efforts to build up the relationship and they expressed strong support for a united Canadian effort on an issue that transcends sectoral, regional and partisan boundaries.
“This was an excellent and informative session hosted by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. It allowed us to have a great exchange of ideas, and I want to thank the people present for sharing their experience as I embark on my new role focused on the Canada-U.S. relationship. Their contribution moving forward will be invaluable,” said Mr. Leslie.
Immediate actions are also needed on this side of the border to make Canada more competitive. “This goes further than trade. The U.S. is moving quickly to strengthen its competitiveness by streamlining regulation and reducing taxes. Canada has to keep pace in reducing the costs that affect Canada’s attractiveness as a supplier and a place to invest,” said Mr. Beatty, echoing participants’ comments.
Mr. Beatty concluded by saying: “Canada and the U.S. have one of the most long-standing and mutually-beneficial trade relationships in the world. It’s important to preserve and strengthen it. By uniting in support of a common goal, we can create jobs and prosperity for all our citizens.”
The associations represented were (in alphabetical order):
- Association of Consulting Engineering Companies Canada
- Automotive Industries Association of Canada
- Business Council of Canada
- Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance
- Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers
- Canadian Electricity Association
- Canadian Energy Pipeline Association
- Canadian Life & Health Insurance Association Inc.
- Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters
- Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers’ Association
- Canadian Truckers Association
- Chemistry Industry Association of Canada
- Consumer Health Products Canada
- Fertilizer Canada
- Forest Products Association of Canada
- Global Automakers of Canada
- I.E. Canada, Canadian Association of Importers and Exporters Inc.
- Innovative Medicines Canada
- Retail Council of Canada
- The Mining Association of Canada
- The Railway Association of Canada
- The Canadian Chamber of Commerce