Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne met today with Canada’s Ambassador to the United States, David MacNaughton, and released the following statement:
“I want to thank my friend Ambassador MacNaughton for a great meeting today to discuss the concrete steps we are taking to ensure Ontario’s interests are well represented in Washington and throughout the United States. As Canada’s largest economy and the centre of our country’s manufacturing, finance, information and communications technology and cleantech sectors, Ontario plays a big role in strengthening Canada’s bilateral partnerships with the U.S.
Ontario-U.S. trade is critical for our businesses and our workers. It is incredibly important that we work with our neighbours and demonstrate that the more than C$1 billion in trade that Ontario and the U.S. exchange every day creates benefits for workers and businesses on both sides of the border. Further, Ambassador MacNaughton and I agree that we have an opportunity at this moment to shape the evolution of our U.S. partnerships to create greater benefits for workers in Ontario and the United States.
Throughout my time as Premier, I have been active in developing closer ties with the governors of states with which Ontario does a significant amount of business, travelling to the U.S. on several occasions and hosting governors here in Ontario. Last month I sent letters to the 27 governors of states that rank Ontario as a top customer, underlining the positive impact our trade creates for U.S. and Canadian workers. As I follow up by speaking directly with many of those governors this month, our government is taking several steps to ensure Ontario workers and businesses are well represented going forward.
In the months ahead, we will enhance Ontario’s U.S. presence, with a focus on those states in which jobs and growth are driven by two-way trade with Ontario. In March, I will travel to the U.S. to meet with business and political leaders. This summer, Ontario will host the 10th Annual Southeast United States-Canadian Provinces Alliance (SEUS-CP) Conference in Toronto. Established in 2007, SEUS-CP is a strategic partnership that now includes six provinces and six states. Its objectives include enhancing trade, promoting business alliances and encouraging technological scientific exchanges between and among its members. In July, I will build on my partnerships with my governor colleagues by attending the National Governors Association Meeting. In October, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and I will co-host the 2017 Leadership Summit of the Conference of Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers in Detroit and Windsor. I have attended this annual summit in the past and found it to be a great opportunity to demonstrate the value of our bilateral partnerships and deepen our ties. The Great Lakes-St. Lawrence basin accounts for one third of all economic activity in Canada and the U.S. It is essential that we work together to find common ground and move forward as a competitive, integrated regional economy.
To guide these ongoing efforts, I have also set up a Premier’s Committee on Ontario-U.S. Economic and Trade Relations, which includes senior ministers and Monique Smith, Ontario’s Representative in Washington. The Committee will meet regularly to ensure our government’s work in building our relationship with the U.S. is on track.
As Ontario steps up its engagement with the United States, I am thankful to have a close working relationship with Canada’s U.S. Ambassador, David MacNaughton. I look forward to working with David, Monique and our federal government to ensure the interests of Ontario’s workers and businesses are well understood and well represented in Washington and throughout the United States.”