A nurse wakes up in Canada and prepares for his workday in the American hospital he’s been at since long before and throughout the pandemic.
A long-haul trucker heads home to the U.S. after dropping off a food shipment across the border in Canada, tired but enduring in the way all front-line heroes have. Border agency officials from both countries facilitate their smooth daily crossings, while making sure needed supplies such as masks, shields, gloves and gowns get to where they are needed in Canada and the U.S.
These are among the many threads that form the strong, critical bonds that join Canada and the U.S. together. Bonds of friendship. Bonds of cooperation. Bonds that power our success and prosperity.
Those bonds, and the resulting economic benefits enjoyed by New Jersey, should not be strained or frayed as we face the post-pandemic challenge of rebuilding our economies. That is why Canada is concerned about the “New Jersey Buy American Act.”
The Garden State enjoys a thriving economic partnership with Canada, largely driven by relationships with the provinces of Ontario and Quebec. Canada is your number one trading partner and export market. In fact, New Jersey sells more to its northern neighbor than its next two foreign markets combined.
The U.S. wants to protect and expand good-paying union jobs. So do we. We also understand the desire to address overcapacity and dumping in the iron and steel sector by global bad actors. But Canada is your staunchest ally on these matters, and taking a cooperative approach actually helps each of us to meet increased, and sometimes unfair, competition from other parts of the world. We ask New Jersey to recognize Canada’s status as an open, fair, and sustainable trader.
We have some of the greenest iron and steel in the world, and are a strong supporter of labor, with many of the major unions in this sector operating across our border. Further, U.S. companies enjoy access to Canadian public procurement markets – indeed, Canada is one of just two countries with a procurement trade deficit with the U.S., with the government awarding 60 times more contracts to U.S. companies than the American government awards to Canadian businesses.
Canada has always been a natural economic partner for the U.S. In these times of crisis, it is more crucial than ever that we do not impede growth by shutting out friends. We urge New Jersey legislators to use this moment to move beyond the isolation of the day and to instead embrace an approach that invests in New Jersey workers, businesses, and growth for the long-run by advancing ties with fair trading partners and allies like Canada.
Khawar Nasim is acting consul general of Canada in New York, Ian Todd is the representative of Ontario in Washington, D.C. and Catherine Loubier is delegate general of Quebec in New York