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.
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.
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
The Hill (3/7, Needham) “On The Money” blog reported that in the National Association of Manufacturers Shopfloor blog, Chad Moutray blogged, “We have begun to see some signs of improvement in many of our largest trading partners, with the major exception of the Eurozone as a whole.” Moutray, Chief Economist for the NAM, also blogged, “Manufacturers are looking to policymakers in Washington move forward with a robust trade agenda that will help open more markets to US manufactured goods exports. If we continue the rest of the year with slow export growth similar to January we won’t reach the goal of doubling exports.”