A trade contingent, including United States consul-general Anne Callaghan, is in Prince George today.
Initiatives Prince George and local representatives of the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME) council are hosting the contingent. In addition to incoming CME members and Callaghan, the visitors will include officials from the federal Foreign Affairs department and Trade and Development Canada.
Collectively they will hold a roundtable on the opportunities ahead for North American manufacturing.
Together, the United States and Canada are working to maximize the opportunities and address the challenges of cross-border trade and an integrated North American cross-border supply chain," said Callaghan, ahead of her trip north from her Vancouver headquarters. "We have accomplished a great deal, and look forward to achieving much more.
Washington, DC-based Birgit Matthiesen, the CME's American point-person, added that she will be speaking at the roundtable, too, in the interest of improving northern manufacturing opportunities.
Smooth and efficient access to the U.S. and Canadian marketplace must be priority number one in our capitals for North American manufacturers in todays highly competitive global marketplace," Matthiesen said. "The political, economic and corporate landscape is changing however, on both sides of the border. These changes are important to CME member companies and our business voice can play a vital role in Ottawa as well as Washington.
The opportunities to reach the closest consumer markets are obvious, but manufacturers also face challenges. These will be on the table at the Prince George discussion. One of the chief issues is taxation of incoming goods from Canada, another is point-of-entry clearances for Canadian goods.
According to provincial statistics, the year-to-date export sector has increased its business more than 14 per cent from B.C. into the U.S., but one CME board member said, the greatest challenge in cross-border business travel is the complete uncertainty. I can travel with less worry and more certainty to China or Korea than to the US.
Local manufacturers with similar concerns, and optimism about future business dealings south of the border are invited to take part.
This meeting will provide local and regional businesses with an invaluable opportunity to talk with key decision makers about the issues they face in forming and expanding business partnerships in the U.S., said Initiatives Prince George CEO Heather Oland.
For more information on today's meeting contact IPG at 250-564-0282.