Building Stronger Relationships with Canada, Our Neighbor and Friend

By Mike Brownfield | November 26, 2012

Governor Snyder meets with Michigan businesses.
Governor Snyder meets with Michigan businesses seeking to increase trade with Canada during a visit to Toronto.

Did you know that Michigan's largest trading partner is Canada, accounting for 46 percent of our state's worldwide exports? On Monday in Toronto, Governor Rick Snyder announced a new effort to increase that business and make the relationship between Canada and Michigan even stronger -- a Michigan Trade Office in Canada that will promote trade, tourism and cultural exchanges.

All of that trade adds up to $23.4 billion in Michigan goods and services headed over our border to Canada, and that supports Michigan jobs right here at home. The Michigan Trade Office will help Michigan companies strengthen and grow their presence in Canada, and that's something that Governor Snyder says is a natural fit:

The world is becoming more global, and the velocity of change is only going to accelerate. Usually your best, closest friend, the neighbor next door, is your best and most reliable partner. But human nature is to overlook them. I don't want to make that mistake.

Canada is by far our largest trading partner, they're our next door neighbor, and hopefully we can make that relationship stronger. And when they think about who their best partner is, I hope they think about us in Michigan.
During his trip to Canada, Governor Snyder met with several Michigan businesses who were in Toronto seeking to find new customers for their products and new partners in growing and expanding their businesses. The governor expressed his support for the trade mission and the importance of researching, identifying and capitalizing on opportunities across Canada.

"I view these kind of events as crucially important because it's about relationship building. Having a relationship with the government of Canada is crucially important," Governor Snyder said.

One key part of improving that relationship is the New International Trade Crossing, the planned bridge between Detroit and Windsor that is well on its way to fruition. Last summer, Governor Snyder announced an agreement with the Canadian government to build the bridge at no additional cost to Michigan taxpayers.

Governor Rick Snyder meets with Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty.
Governor Rick Snyder meets with Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty and discusses the importance of strengthening the trade relationship between Canada and Michigan.

During his trip to Canada, Governor Snyder met with the premier of Ontario, Dalton McGuinty, and thanked him for Canada's generosity in fronting the costs for Michigan's portion of the bridge. The governor says the bridge will be mutually beneficial to Michigan and Canada, create the capacity for even more trade, lay the groundwork for a stronger economy, and bring more and better jobs to our state.

Michigan companies interested in learning more about the Michigan Trade Office and doing business in Canada should contact the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.