Prime Minister Stephen Harper today participated in a moderated discussion hosted by the Canadian American Business Council in New York City, where he discussed the current global economic climate, highlighted Canada’s strong economic performance, and underscored the importance of Canada-U.S. relations.
“Canada and the U.S. are making important progress on enhancing trade, travel and investment flows between our two countries, including securing our borders, speeding up trade and travel, modernizing infrastructure in integrated sectors of the North American economy, and harmonizing regulations,” said the Prime Minister. “But there is much more that can be done, and must be done, to make our economic relationship more productive and seamless.”
Canada and the U.S. have the largest bilateral trading relationship in the world, underpinned by the North American Free Trade Agreement. In 2012, bilateral trade between Canada and the U.S. reached $742 billion, representing more than $2 billion worth of goods and services crossing the border everyday, on average. The U.S. remains the largest foreign investor in Canada, while Canada was the fourth largest overall investor in the U.S. at the end of 2012.
A number of major initiatives to further strengthen the economic relationship are currently underway or on the horizon, including:
- the Beyond the Border Action Plan, which will enhance security and accelerate the legitimate flow of people, goods and services;
- the Regulatory Cooperation Council, which aims to increase the alignment of the two countries’ regulatory approaches;
- the Keystone XL pipeline, which will help to ensure energy security for both countries; and,
- the construction of the Detroit River International Crossing, which will reduce congestion in this vital trade corridor.
Canada and the U.S. are also working closely to boost trade between North America and the Asia-Pacific region through the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which will create jobs and growth both at home and abroad.
The event, which was moderated by CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo, brought together individuals from the business community, academia and others who share an interest in deepening the Canada-U.S. relationship.
Established in 1987 in Washington, D.C., the Canadian American Business Council is a non-profit, non-partisan, issues-oriented organization dedicated to elevating the private sector perspective on issues that affect Canada and the United States.