The Detroit-Windsor trade corridor serves as the backbone to the world’s strongest economic partnership. The U.S. and Canada enjoy the largest and most comprehensive trading relationship found between any two states in the world with over $1 trillion in annual trade and investment. U.S. trade with Canada totaled more than $520 billion in 2010. Many people don’t realize it, but U.S. exports to Canada exceeded U.S. exports to China, Japan, South Korea and Singapore combined.
Last week I navigated that critical Detroit-Windsor trade corridor with members of the President’s Export Council (PEC) on their first international foray. PEC members consulted with a group of vibrant Detroit area small- and medium-sized enterprises and met with the CEO representing the Canadian Council of Chief Executives and Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters to investigate what has made the U.S-Canadian trading relationship so strong.
It’s only appropriate that PEC members’ first international foray should be to Canada. If we are going to meet President Obama’s National Export Initiative goal of doubling exports by 2014, Canada will figure prominently in that effort. Increased U.S./Canada trade benefits both countries’ economies, jobs outlook and future growth. U.S. exports to Canada increased by $44 billion in 2010 – up 22 percent.
We asked some of the best minds in the U.S. and Canadian business worlds to tell us what we can take from the success of the U.S.-Canadian commercial relationship that may be helpful in creating supply chain opportunities in other countries. We discussed ideas on how to bolster cross-border trade and reduce the bureaucracy that slows down the movement of goods and people at our borders.
We talked about the importance of the North American competitiveness and steps the U.S. and Canada can take together to improve the efficiency of our marketplace. This includes finding ways to constantly improve the flow of trade across our mutual border as well as investment in border crossing infrastructure such as new customs facilities, new and upgraded bridges, roads and tunnels. An important focus was on what can be done to smooth the export process for small and medium businesses.
The PEC members will report back to President Obama on what they have heard last week in order for the U.S, and Canadian governments to incorporate the ideas into our border and regulatory cooperation initiatives.
By the end of business today, more than $1.4 billion dollars in merchandise will travel through the Detroit-Windsor trade corridor.
Tomorrow – it’s $1.4 billion and counting.