Great Lakes, auto trade, discussed as Wynne meets with Michigan governor
Published Sunday, March 12, 2017 6:45PM EDT Last Updated Monday, March 13, 2017 4:40PM EDT
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne met with Michigan Governor Rick Snyder Monday at the Governor’s Boardroom in Detroit.
Topics discussed included the the Greak Lakes, auto trade and the Gordie Howe bridge.
Wynne told Snyder, "We are your biggest customer" with $21 billion (US) in exports in 2016. Some 259,000 Michigan jobs are supported by trade and investment with Canada, more than 91 per cent of which is with Ontario.
Wynne and Snyder will be the co-hosts of the upcoming Great Lakes conference.
Synder says it's "wait and see" regarding Trump's decision to slash funding to Great Lakes by 97 per cent.
After the meeting the pair released a joint statement.
"Ontario and Michigan are strong partners with deeply integrated economies. Today, we discussed how we will continue to work together to advance our shared priority to create jobs and grow our economies," the statement says.
"We are building on a strong, collaborative foundation - including our first-ever Memorandum of Understanding on auto manufacturing, stewardship of the Great Lakes, and supporting the completion of the new Gordie Howe International Bridge, which will increase efficiency and create jobs in both the short- and long-term."
This isn’t Wynne's first meeting with Governor Snyder. The two met in June of 2016. At that time, they discussed ways to create jobs by increasing support for the auto and manufacturing sectors, and making border crossings more efficient.
They also shared ideas on the environmental stewardship of the Great Lakes. On behalf of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers, they released the first-ever regional strategy to advance the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence maritime transportation system.
Ontario and Michigan's economies are intertwined by the manufacturing and industrial sectors and their integrated supply chains. In 2015, two-way goods trade between Ontario and Michigan totalled $74 billion.