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Michigan's auto industry unites in strong support for New International Trade Crossing project

February 10, 2011

Contact: Sara Wurfel
(517) 335-6397 

LANSING, MI - Michigan's automotive industry today voiced its strong support for the proposed New International Trade Crossing to connect Detroit to Windsor, Ontario.  The crossing is a public/private partnership with Canada that opens the door to more global exports from Michigan while creating no new debt for the state and no new taxes for Michigan taxpayers. 

Governor Rick Snyder has secured an agreement with the federal government that allows Michigan to count $550 million Canada has offered to contribute to the project toward Michigan's federal match for road funds.  This will leverage as much as $2.2 billion in federal highway funds for Michigan to be used for statewide road repairs and infrastructure improvements. 

"Detroit is home to the busiest border crossing in North America based on trade volume, with a value of almost $500 million in goods crossing daily.  To compete as a world-class community, we strongly support the construction of any new crossings to improve traffic flow and reduce or eliminate congestion.  We also need this crossing to be built expeditiously.  For these reasons we support Michigan's New International Trade Crossing," said Bill Ford, executive chairman of Ford Motor Co.

In 2009, Michigan did roughly $44 billion dollars in trade with Canada.  Over 237,000 Michigan jobs are directly connected to trade with Canada.  One out of every eight jobs in Detroit is in the export industry and in Grand Rapids it is one out of every seven.

"Chrysler strongly supports the proposed New International Trade Crossing at the Detroit-Windsor border," said Chrysler Group CEO Sergio Marchionne. "This new bridge is vital to the economic well-being of Michigan, and the future of our company and many other Michigan businesses.  The Detroit-Windsor corridor is arguably the most important international crossing for trade in the world and is in desperate need of an upgrade. The new crossing will provide secure world-class trade and transportation infrastructure for the busiest trade corridor in the United States.  The crossing would directly link Ontario and Michigan's highway systems, allowing for effective, safe, and timely deliveries our company transports to and from Canada each year." 

"GM supports the International Trade Crossing," said Mark Reuss, president of GM North America.  "Greater traffic flow and border crossing capacity gives our U.S. and Canadian manufacturing operations more flexibility to meet the needs of U.S. consumers."

"Reliability in terms of transportation and market access is vital to the automotive industry," said Erik Kirkhorn, director of state government affairs for Toyota Motor North America.  "A modern infrastructure such as the New International Trade Crossing provides the certainty that is so vital to our success.  We strongly support this partnership and urge its swift implementation.  This project will have a positive impact on the economies and working families of Michigan and Ontario." 

Honda offered its support as well, citing the project's importance to the continued success of the North American auto industry.

The construction portion of the project will create an estimated 10,000 jobs for Michigan workers and support an additional 25,000 Michigan jobs once construction is completed.

Half of all daily trade between the United States and Canada travels through the Ontario-Michigan border and nearly 60 percent of all Michigan exports go to or through Canada.