Premier Wynne Strengthens Political and Economic Ties with the U.S.
Tour Builds Cross-Border Connections in Manufacturing and Innovation
Today, Premier Kathleen Wynne concluded a successful three-day tour of the U.S., where she met with political and economic leaders in Detroit, Washington, D.C. and Boston to strengthen trade and economic partnerships, and open up new opportunities for collaboration.
While in Detroit, the Premier met with Ford Motor Company Executive Vice President and President of the Americas Joe Hinrichs to explore new ways to increase the company's presence in Ontario. She also met with Michigan Governor Rick Snyder to discuss expanding support for the auto and manufacturing sectors and making border crossings more efficient. Following their meeting, the Premier and the Governor, on behalf of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers, released the first-ever regional strategy to advance the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence maritime transportation system.
In Washington, D.C., the Premier met with political leaders to strengthen and expand strategic partnerships within the U.S. capital. Yesterday morning, she met with Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren to discuss opportunities for advancing women in leadership, the results of Ontario's violence against women policies and programs, and income security.
The Premier met with U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman -- President Obama's principal advisor, negotiator and spokesperson on international trade and investment -- to discuss the ongoing softwood lumber negotiations, examine upcoming trade opportunities and promote Ontario's competitive business environment. The Premier also met with U.S. Secretary of Labour Tom Perez to discuss income security and addressing workplace violence.
The Premier met with New York Congresswoman Elise Stefanik in Washington to discuss cross-border issues. While in Washington, the Premier spoke at an innovation luncheon, which was attended by think-tank leaders and officials from the U.S. federal government, to promote Ontario's innovative leadership in climate change and cleantech.
To wrap up the U.S. tour, the Premier visited Boston, where she met with representatives from leading businesses and innovation hubs to explore potential partnership opportunities, encourage investments in Ontario, and showcase the province's leadership in developing breakthrough technologies and bringing them to market.
Highlights of the Premier's time in Boston include:
- Learning about new technology from Tenured Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Chief Media Scientist of Twitter Deb Roy during a tour of the MIT Media Lab
- Touring the Cambridge Innovation Center and meeting with Jamal Halepota, Global Business Development Lead
- Visiting the Boston location of the Canadian Technology Accelerators, which is supported by the Canadian federal government
- Meeting with the Canadian Entrepreneurs in New England
This afternoon, the Premier met with Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker. The two leaders discussed opportunities to increase trade and shared ideas on developing innovative, knowledge-based economies.
Later this afternoon, she will also meet with Niraj Shah, CEO and Co-Founder of Wayfair Inc., to promote Ontario's cost-effective business environment and with Jay Hooley, Chairman and CEO of State Street Corporation, to discuss Ontario's strong financial services sector.
Building new relationships and helping businesses compete globally are part of the government's economic plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs. The four-part plan includes investing in talent and skills, including helping more people get and create the jobs of the future by expanding access to high-quality college and university education. The plan is making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario's history and investing in a low-carbon economy driven by innovative, high-growth, export-oriented businesses. The plan is also helping working Ontarians achieve a more secure retirement.
- In 2015, more than 65 per cent of Ontario’s total global trade was conducted with the U.S. — two-way merchandise trade totalled more than $340 billion.
- Ontario is a major market for the U.S. as well — more than 60 per cent of the merchandise exports from the U.S. to Canada last year were destined for Ontario.
- According to a 2015 BMO report, one-third of the economic activity in the U.S. and Canada is generated in the Great Lakes–St. Lawrence region, which includes eight states and two provinces. In 2014, the region’s economic output was US$5.8 trillion.
“The U.S. is our largest trading partner, and our economies are intricately connected through systems such as supply chains and transportation routes. Establishing positive relationships with business, economic and political leaders in the U.S. creates a solid foundation for increasing trade and establishing future business agreements. Strong Ontario–U.S. relationships also make it easier to face challenges together — including complex intergovernmental issues such as climate change.”