Quebec is looking to strengthen business ties with upstate New York, according to Andre Boisclair, Quebec’s delegate general to New York, who recently visited upstate New York.
While New York is already Quebec’s number one trading partner in the United States ─ trade totaled $7.7 billion in 2012 ─ Boisclair told the Syracuse Post Standard there is room for growth. “We share a border and the same economic zone. My message is, we should work together to create more jobs on both sides.”
Looking at ways to strengthen New York’s economy through regionalism and two-way trade is an issue The Business Council of New York State will explore in the coming months.
State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli recently audited the foreign offices of The Empire State Development Corp. (ESDC). As a result, he says these offices need to have clearer performance standards set and a determination needs to be made to see if the remaining foreign offices in Canada, Israel, South Africa and the United Kingdom are necessary.
ESDC contracts with representatives who operate offices in foreign countries to provide services that help New York State businesses develop or expand export sales and attract foreign investments. Due to budget constraints, ESDC recently closed its international offices in Mexico, Turkey and China, along with three offices in Australia, Brazil and Chile operated through the Council of Great Lakes Governors.
Auditors found that some offices did not meet expected results, while others had few results recorded at all. ESDC officials generally agreed with the audit’s findings and have begun implementing a new system designed to assist in data collection and reporting on international trade and investment attraction activities.
Read the full copy of the report here.
Saying a deal could be announced soon, Canadian officials report they have reached an “agreement in principle’’ with New York State to resolve the Peace Bridge conflict. If everything proceeds according to plan, a deal could be announced sometime this week. The deal supposedly aims to ensure free flowing trade across the bridge, although final details are still being negotiated.
The contentious negotiations between New York and Canada over the future of the Peace Bridge in Buffalo took a turn when both the State Senate and the Assembly overwhelmingly approved dissolving the Peace Bridge Authority Wednesday. The vote immediately put to a halt $150 million in Peace bridge projects, according to authority General Manager, Ron Rienas, a Canadian.
The dispute between the two sides is over efforts to expand the plaza on the New York side of the bridge.
Governor Cuomo held a 90-minute closed door meeting with Western New York lawmakers Monday, hoping to rally support for his stance on the controversial Peace Bridge improvements and expansion.
Click here to read the Buffalo News report written by Tom Precious.
Senator Charles Schumer recently joined the chorus of voices opposing fees for border crossings into the United States. The Glens Falls Post Star quotes Schumer as saying, “We should be rolling out the welcome mat for Canadians who want to spend their money in New York. And I am sending a loud-and-clear message that any border fee is a non-starter in the Senate.”
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is exploring the idea of imposing fees for land-based border crossings into the U.S. which would have a negative impact on New York businesses. The proposed study would, among other things, investigate the feasibility of collecting from existing operators like bridges, toll operators, buses, and railways.
Garry Douglas, president of the North Country Chamber of Commerce, weighed in on the issue saying that imposing border fees would severely hinder the strong economic relationship the United States has with its northern neighbor. Douglas stated, “Once again, we have proof that you can never underestimate the capacity of some supposedly well informed people in Washington to suggest stupid things. Let’s take America’s number one economic asset, that being its relationship with Canada and the functioning of the U.S.-Canadian border, and turn it into a dysfunctional catastrophe. Thankfully, I am confident that with the engagement of the Congressional delegation of the northern border states, led by Congressman Owens in the House, and with Senators Schumer, Gillibrand, and Leahy rallying more than twenty members of the U.S. Senate, this will never happen. Unfortunately, in the near-term, Secretary Napolitano and others are doing fresh harm to our relationship with our Canadian friends by once again bringing up this nonsensical notion and feeding uncertainty about future border fluidity just when we are working through the Beyond the Border process to convey the opposite.”
Congressman Bill Owens has stated he strongly opposes any fees as they would negatively impact New York businesses.
Glens Falls Post Star: Schumer comes out against border-crossing fee
The Press Republican: Fee for border crossings mulled
The Globe and Mail: U.S. eyeing new border-crossing fee for Canadians