Ontario Seeks to Deepen Intracontinental and Global Trade
As Ontario experiences unforetold economic growth, Minister of International Trade Michael Chan is eager to share his province’s success with the rest of the world, and the US in particular. Since 2009, Ontario has created nearly 700,000 net new jobs—the majority being full-time, well paid and in the private sector—and it has simultaneously made substantial strides in cleantech and disruptive technologies.
With a remarkably low unemployment rate of 6.2%, Chan explained to EVP that Ontario is teeming with talent and ready to strengthen its oldest economic connections while continuing to develop new trade vectors. Chan made an important note, though, that Canada is already an integral part of the US economy, and vice versa: “Of our trade with the world, 80% goes to America.”
Canadian Labor is Inseparable from the US Economy
For decades, Silicon Valley has been responsible for much of the technological advancements in the US. According to Chan, however, these innovations would have been impossible without an educated Canadian workforce. Similarly, Ontario’s automotive and aviation sectors have become inextricably linked with the US, to the point that neither economy can function without the other.
Luckily for both countries, it seems that the shifting trade policies in the US will not stop trade between the two nations. “In Canada, we believe in free trade and want to expand that, and we want to continue building the kinds of partnerships that contribute to long-term economic growth and prosperity,” Chan stated. “All politics is local, but all trade is personal – so we are also making sure to nurture the relationships we have, as we also invest in building the right new ones.”
Seeking to Expand Free Trade
“While Canada deeply values its US ties, it is important that we diversify by tapping opportunities in faster growing regions globally,” said Chan. He went on to explain that thanks to free trade agreements like NAFTA, CKFTA and CETA, Canada is well-positioned to expand its global trade. Specifically, he expressed an interest in working with China, India, Turkey, and other emerging markets.