Ontario is the number one trading partner for nineteen U.S. states and number two for nine others. In 2017, “two-way merchandise trade between Ontario and the U.S. totalled CAD$390 billion — 55 percent of all Canada–U.S. trade,” according to Ivana Yelich of the Premier’s Office. For this reason, Doug Ford spent three days in the U.S. Capital talking trade and jobs. He zeroed in heavily on steel and aluminum tariffs imposed by the U.S. last year.
During a “fireside chat” with Kelly Craft, the U.S. Ambassador to Canada, he said,
“To be very frank, it’s hurting the U.S. more than it’s even hurting Canada,” he said. “For every job that they think they’re creating (with the tariffs), they’re losing 16 jobs.” He pointed out the automotive industry’s interconnected supply chain as an example of why jobs are being lost.
“The Ontario-U.S. partnership is one of the greatest in the world. I look forward to meeting face-to-face with U.S. political and business leaders to talk about how we are making Ontario open for business,” said Ford. “Building relationships, promoting trade and being open for business are crucial to supporting and creating good new jobs across Ontario.”
While in Washington, Premier Ford will forge closer ties with key partners including his Governor counterparts and will participate in a series of roundtable events with U.S. business leaders and his fellow Canadian Premiers. Discussions will centre on the impacts of the new Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) and shared goals to reduce regulatory and trade burdens.
“Heading to D.C. is a great opportunity to talk about how we can work with our friends and neighbours to grow our economies, support businesses and create good jobs on both sides of the border,” said Ford. “We are breaking down barriers and getting rid of regulatory gridlock to make Ontario the best partner to do business and trade with for years to come.”
According to the Ontario government, almost “9 million American jobs depend on Canada-U.S. trade and investment and close to 400,000 people cross the U.S.–Canada border daily.”