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Memorandum of Understanding on Trade, Tourism, Environment and Mutual Economic Co-operation

Archived Backgrounder

Memorandum of Understanding on Trade, Tourism, Environment and Mutual Economic Co-operation

Between The State of Michigan And The Province of Ontario

Office of the Premier

WHEREAS, the State of Michigan and the Province of Ontario, in recognition of sharing the busiest Canada-U.S. border crossing and being each other's largest trading partner, have established an enduring and positive relationship based on mutual interests; and,

WHEREAS, Michigan and Ontario have a strong and growing trade relationship and wish to build upon their participation in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers and the existing Memorandum of Understanding Regarding the Automotive Industry of Michigan and Ontario & Automated Vehicle and Connected Vehicle Testing and Development; and,

WHEREAS Michigan and Ontario recognize:

  • the dramatic increase in the value of trade between all Great Lakes partners, and the significant 26 percent increase in trade between the state and the province since 2013;
  • the growing overall importance of the trade relationships between Canada, the United States and Mexico, and between Michigan and Ontario;
  • the increasing need for interrelationships between all Canada-U.S. trading partners;
  • the advantages to be derived from the strengthening and broadening of mutually beneficial trade and investment relations between Michigan and Ontario;
  • the importance of protecting and restoring the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin in order to provide a healthy environment, society and economy for this and future generations;
  • the value of close consultations and cooperation between Michigan and Ontario on issues, and the need to ensure open lines of communication and sharing of publicly available information; and,
  • the importance of working together and in concert with their respective federal governments in matters of trade significance.

NOW, therefore, in the spirit of promoting closer relationships, the State of Michigan and the Province of Ontario intend to work co-operatively, with a view to complementing existing laws and treaties between their respective nations to:

1. Promote and Facilitate Bilateral Trade

In 2017, bilateral trade between Michigan and Ontario amounted to USD$65 billion. The Governments of Michigan and Ontario share a strong interest in expanding this economic partnership and building on the shared potential of emerging export opportunities within North America and across the globe.


work together to identify target sectors for joint initiatives, including but not limited to autos and auto parts, agri-business, aerospace, component manufacturing, energy, forestry and wood products, and technologies;

1.2.work together to identify opportunities for strategic partnerships and alliances between private sector companies in Michigan and Ontario, which will strengthen their capacity to compete in international markets;
1.3.explore opportunities for joint trade promotions, beginning with the sharing of publicly available information on priority markets and planned promotional activities, followed by the identification of possible joint trade missions to targeted markets;
1.4.support regional and federal initiatives to facilitate the border-to-border-to-border movement of goods and people;
1.5.share publicly available information and learn from each other's best practices and the world-class expertise found in both jurisdictions; and,
1.6.promote common goals by encouraging co-operation and understanding between business, municipal, state/provincial and federal governments, and citizens of Michigan and Ontario.

2. Promote and Encourage Co-operation in Tourism

The Governments of Michigan and Ontario intend to work together to expand bilateral tourism opportunities, particularly as part of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers Great Lakes Cruising promotion initiative. The governments' senior tourism officials, who will operate under the direction of the Executive Director of Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the Ontario Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport will explore a tourism strategy that will include:


the identification and sharing of mutually beneficial tourism marketing initiatives; and,

2.2.the facilitation of the development of travel packages that promote the advantages of each jurisdiction.

3. Promote the Mid-Continent Trade and Transportation Corridor

Michigan and Ontario share the busiest border crossing in North America. Building on the successful collaboration in the development of the Gordie Howe International Crossing, officials from Michigan and Ontario will work together, and with their federal officials, to:

3.1.establish a seamless transportation infrastructure which includes the harmonization of regulations along the corridor, ensuring the free flow of equipment between both jurisdictions to increase supply chain integration, and more efficient and effective border crossings; and,
3.2.as a result of the improvements made in the transportation infrastructure along the corridor, create a more competitive environment for private sector companies in both Michigan and Ontario and therefore attract new inward investment into the state and the province.

4. Coordinate Activities in Great Lakes Protection and Restoration

The Governments of Michigan and Ontario have a long history of working collaboratively on the preservation of the Great Lakes. Building on the cooperation they have established through the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Sustainable Water Resources Agreement (2005), the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Aquatic Invasive Species Partnership Resolution (2013), the Mutual Aid Agreement for Combating Aquatic Invasive Species (2014), the Western Basin of Lake Erie Collaborative (2015), the Michigan-Ohio-Ontario Aquatic Invasive Species Harmonization Pilot Project (2015), the Resolution for Enhancing Regional Protections Against Aquatic Invasive Species (2017), the Great Lakes and Mississippi River Interbasin Study (GLMRIS), and the Brandon Road Lock & Dam Proposal (2018), as well as through forums such as the Great Lakes Commission, the International Joint  Commission's Great Lakes boards, and the Great Lakes Executive Committee, the Governments of Michigan and Ontario agree to explore opportunities to co-ordinate their efforts in furthering the goals and objectives of their respective co-operative agreements aimed at the protection and restoration of the Great Lakes and the promotion of sustainable economic opportunities and quality of life around the Great Lakes.

5. Promote the Ongoing Relationship

The Governments of Michigan and Ontario recognize the benefits of ongoing, regular contacts between their respective governments to promote trade and economic development and environmental cooperation and to identify areas in which there are opportunities for joint formal or informal co-operation.

Therefore Michigan and Ontario intend to:

5.1.monitor progress on the implementation of this Memorandum of Understanding;
5.2.designate state and provincial government representatives to serve as principal points of policy contact and liaison to promote co-operation in areas of mutual interest;
5.3.encourage the executive departments of the State of Michigan and the Province of Ontario to work together to promote co-operative efforts within their respective areas of responsibility; and,
5.4.explore and/or continue cooperating on initiatives of common interest, such as education, invasive species, transboundary air, water quality, resource recovery, agricultural harmonization, and transportation, which will be considered complementary to this Memorandum of Understanding.

This agreement is signed on April 27, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan.



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