Premier Reinforces Commitment to Defending Ontario Workers and Businesses
Premier Kathleen Wynne released the following statement regarding New York State's decision on Buy American provisions:
"I am pleased that New York State has dropped Buy American provisions from its budget. Ontario's economy is deeply interconnected with New York State's and that relationship supports good jobs and growth in both of our regions. This decision recognizes lawmakers' commitment to building on that strong relationship. The result also supports and sustains the economic opportunities created for people in Ontario and New York through open access to government procurement.
The decision reflects a clear understanding among New York State's political leaders of just how important our ongoing partnership is to both economies. The tremendous volume of trade between Ontario and New York State, which totaled US $22.7 billion in 2016, will continue to help drive prosperity in both regions.
Our government has worked closely with our partners in the federal and Québec governments to ensure that Canada was top of mind as New York State's legislators considered the Buy American provisions. Michael Chan, Minister of International Trade, and Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development and Growth, travelled to Albany in late March to advocate for Canadian businesses and workers. Monique Smith, Ontario's Representative in Washington, D.C., was also on the ground several times in Albany, including last week, to ensure ongoing awareness of Ontario's close relationship with New York State and solicit support. We also enlisted the support of experts in the state budget process to ensure our position was heard.
As part of that process, our government was also prepared to react quickly if discriminatory Buy American provisions had passed with the budget. Cabinet met last week and discussed how that response would have included introducing legislation next week to allow Ontario to respond strongly to the Buy American policies.
This effort has paid off. Through our government's extensive engagement with state legislators, we have made sure that they clearly understand the value of the important business relationship between Ontario and New York State.
We do not take for granted our deep and long-standing relationship with New York State. I look forward to continuing to work closely with Governor Cuomo and with our other partners across the U.S., including at the National Governors Association meeting in Rhode Island in July.
I will also continue to support Ontario workers and businesses by advocating for free trade and open, fair and competitive access to government contracts. We will continue our efforts to enhance our trade relationships with partners in the U.S. and around the world.
As Premier, I am working to create opportunity and security for people in our province and free trade creates good jobs for the people of Ontario. I will continue to stand up on their behalf every time."