With negotiations continuing around NAFTA, a presidential election in Mexico scheduled for July 1st and mid-term elections in the United States, building allies around trade is important for Ontario businesses and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce is doing just that.
In the past few months they have secured letters from Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Manufacturing from several states including Colorado, California, Kentucky and Wisconsin. Each letter recognizes the importance of continued free trade between the province, each state and Canada.
In the letter between the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and Wisconsin Manufacturers &
Commerce it is stated that trade supports thousands of U.S. and Canadian jobs and billions of
dollars in economic output. NAFTA has created a mutually beneficial relationship between the state and province that will continue to provide economic value for both Wisconsin and Ontario. In fact the letter goes on to reveal that trade contributed “US$22.3 billion to the Wisconsin economy in 2017. And that more than 110,000 Wisconsin jobs are supported by exports and 93 percent of those jobs are in manufacturing. Canada is also Wisconsin’s number one trade partner. Wisconsin exported nearly US$7 billion in goods and services to Canada in 2017 –accounting for almost one-third of the state’s exports.
NAFTA has positively impacted Wisconsin and Ontario and is key to continued economic success, as trade between the two jurisdictions adds up to CAN$8.4 billion.”
“WMC is delighted to join with our neighbors to the north in support of free trade and the renewal of NAFTA,” said WMC President & CEO Kurt R. Bauer. “Wisconsin is home to manufacturers, food processors and farmers. All of these industries, and others, are supported by free trade, which creates billions of dollars in economic output and family-supporting careers throughout our state. Our relationship with Ontario and the rest of Canada is vital to Wisconsin’s economic future.”
“Strong cross-border trade partnerships mutually benefit both Ontario and Wisconsin by driving economic growth and increasing competitiveness.” said Rocco Rossi, President and CEO at the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. “The OCC is pleased to join WMC today in support of NAFTA and free trade. We will continue to work with our Chamber Network, US state chambers and the Ontario government on encouraging the
renewal of NAFTA, ensuring prosperity for both our economies.”
These types of comments can be seen throughout the letters and its crucial to recognize that trade is a two-way street.
Policies that create blockades on that two-way street for exports and imports threaten our ability to make things in Canada. That has an impact on our economy.
The Canadian government has started broadening its trading base to the European Union and now the Trans Pacific. These are deals that will diversify how we trade and the countries with whom we trade.
For example on CETA, the Canadian Chamber recognizes that the deal presents a number of opportunities
across many sectors of the economy:
We recognize that there are both pros and cons, but trade in of itself is a worthy endeavor that will lead to greater growth for our economy and help take the Canadian brand and standards to the next level.
It's an opportunity on which we can't afford to close the door.