OTTAWA, April 25, 2014 /CNW/ - The Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of
Transport, was in Chicago today where she marked the 20th anniversary of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and
addressed the Council of Great Lakes Governors regarding the importance
of building the new Detroit River International Crossing (New
International Trade Crossing) in order to spur ongoing economic growth
in Canada and the United States.
In her address to the NAFTANEXT summit, the Minister noted the benefits
brought by the trade agreement and discussed the Government of Canada's
economic record, including its robust trade agenda.
She highlighted investments in Canada's Asia-Pacific Gateway, as well as
measures to improve rail safety, noting that these actions contribute
to the safe and secure movement of goods across all of North America,
helping to increase trade, grow the economy and create jobs.
While meeting with the Council of Great Lakes Governors, Minister Raitt
emphasized the importance of bilateral cooperation on border
infrastructure projects such as the crossing between Windsor and
Detroit. The new bridge will ensure there is sufficient border crossing
capacity to handle projected growth in cross-border trade and traffic
in the Windsor-Detroit trade corridor. It will provide a much-needed
crossing alternative at the busiest commercial border crossing between
Canada and the U.S., create thousands of construction jobs and
long-term employment opportunities on both sides of the border, and
support national security and public safety priorities in Canada and
The Government of Canada has pledged to pay for almost all of the new
bridge project, including property acquisition on the U.S.
side. However, Canada continues to await a decision by the U.S.
government to pay for its new customs plaza in Detroit. The U.S.
inspection plaza represents a relatively modest investment - just $250
million of the overall $4.4-billion project.
NAFTANEXT is a gathering of industry and government leaders to discuss
the challenges and opportunities created by increased trade in North
America. This summit is exploring how transportation, energy and
environmental infrastructure will work in North America.
2014 marks the 20th anniversary of NAFTA, which has had an overwhelmingly positive effect
on the Canadian economy. It has opened up new export opportunities,
acted as a stimulus to build internationally competitive businesses,
and helped attract significant foreign investment.
Under NAFTA, Canada-US trade has grown to a value of about $2 billion
per day (2012 figures) and Mexico has become Canada's third-largest
The Detroit River International Crossing
About 30 per cent of total U.S.-Canada trade, more than $100 billion
worth crosses the Windsor-Detroit international trade corridor each
Canada is the top export destination for 34 states including each member
state of the Council of Great Lakes States: Illinois, Indiana,
Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
Over 8 million American and over 2 million Canadian jobs depend on trade
and investment between Canada and the United States.
"The NAFTANEXT event is a good opportunity to discuss how we can advance
our mutual goal of increasing trade, both on this continent and with
markets around the globe."
"The ongoing collaboration of Canada and the United States on projects
such as the Detroit-Windsor crossing can help to make North America the
most competitive and dynamic region in the world. We look forward to
continuing discussions with our U.S. partners and pursuing our common
goals together so that we can get this bridge to the future built."
The Honourable Lisa Raitt
Minister of Transport
Remarks by Minister Raitt - NAFTANEXT
Remarks by Minister Raitt - Council of Great Lakes Governors Executive
SOURCE: Transport Canada
For further information:
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Lisa Raitt
Minister of Transport, Ottawa
Transport Canada, Ottawa
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