Premier Strengthens U.S. Ties at National Governors Association Summer Meeting
Premier Kathleen Wynne released the following statement today regarding her participation in the National Governors Association (NGA) Summer Meeting in Rhode Island:
"We are at a critical point in our North American trade relationships. Now more than ever, we must reinforce the need for free trade and cross-border partnerships to grow our economies and create good jobs. I was pleased to join Prime Minister Trudeau at the National Governors Association Summer Meeting to do just that. Over two days, I have connected with U.S. governors to discuss our common interests and the need to continue working together to advance our shared prosperity.
Strong relationships with state governors are critical to developing meaningful economic opportunities for workers and businesses in Ontario. Over the past eight months, I have increased my focus on building and strengthening these relationships, meeting with governors, senators, congress people and U.S. trade representatives. The NGA meeting has been a valuable opportunity to leverage these partnerships, build new ones and find more ways of working across borders to create jobs and support businesses. As a leader within North America, Ontario knows that our future growth depends on the economic competitiveness of the whole continent, so we are committed to working together with states and provinces to drive innovation, promote fairness and free trade, and fight climate change.
In Rhode Island, I had productive meetings with Governor John Hickenlooper of Colorado, Governor Mary Fallin of Oklahoma, Governor Kim Reynolds of Iowa, Governor Brian Sandoval of Nevada, Governor Matt Bevin of Kentucky, and Francisco Domínguez Servién, Governor of the Mexican State of Querétaro, as well as a number of other discussions with governors from across the U.S. We discussed several issues of mutual concern, including collaboration on trade and business growth, and opportunities to partner in the areas of skills training and innovation.
I also participated in a panel with governors from the U.S. and Mexico called Collaborating to Create Tomorrow's Global Economy. Our discussions focused on agriculture, manufacturing and workforce development. I spoke about how state and provincial-level relationships help shape our progress in these areas and lead to positive outcomes for workers and businesses.
In light of the upcoming renegotiation of NAFTA, I also discussed the importance of free trade and open borders to North America's economic well-being, highlighting how NAFTA benefits workers and businesses in all three nations. The U.S. and Mexico are two of Ontario's top three trading partners, so as Premier I am working hard to advance these relationships. Attending this summer NGA meeting is a key part of my government's strategy to stay engaged across the U.S. so that the interests of Ontario's businesses and workers are strongly represented at the negotiating table.
I look forward to meeting with my fellow Canadian Premiers at the Council of the Federation meeting next week, where U.S. trade and relations will be a core part of our discussions. There is a great deal of uncertainty as to the future of our trade relationships, but by making sure that our views are heard and our interests are clearly and fairly represented, I am confident we can build on our partnerships and deliver a more competitive North American economy."