Government of Canada builds on strong economic relations with United States

skills and innovation

Minister Bains meets key U.S. officials to grow economies on both sides of the border

During a visit to Michigan this week, the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, highlighted how the tight integration of the Canadian and U.S. economies is important for middle-class jobs on both sides of the border.

Minister Bains met state and federal legislators from Michigan, toured automotive facilities and engaged with business leaders to get a more in-depth understanding of the strengths of the region and the benefits of enhanced integration between our automotive manufacturing sectors. One example of this close integration is the assembly process: automotive parts produced in Ontario or Michigan cross the border as many as six times before a finished car rolls off the assembly line.

Through his meetings, Minister Bains had the opportunity to deliver this message: Canada has no closer friend and partner than the United States. The visit made clear that the United States and Canada have a common interest in enhancing their open and collaborative relationship. Ties with Michigan run particularly deep; it has the highest level of bilateral trade with Canada of any U.S. state. Both countries have opportunities to make the automotive and advanced manufacturing sectors even more competitive while securing the hundreds of thousands of jobs in those sectors in the United States and Canada.

The visit was also an opportunity for Minister Bains to highlight Canada’s new Innovation and Skills Plan. The plan will ensure that Canadians develop the skills they to succeed in the new economy and seize opportunities resulting from future cross-border partnerships.

The Minister also accompanied the Prime Minister for an announcement of an investment in the Ford Motor Company of Canada. This investment will support Ford’s research and development activities on the car of the future. It will also help secure nearly 800 highly skilled jobs in Canada.



“Canada has no closer friend, ally and partner than the United States. Together, we will focus on opportunities that will benefit both our countries. Canada is committed to working with its neighbours in Michigan to drive innovation and create good quality jobs on both sides of the border.”

– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

Quick Facts

  • Automotive trade between Canada and the U.S. amounts to more than one fifth of total bilateral trade. The automotive sector represents nearly two thirds of Michigan’s exports to Canada.
  • Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio and Ontario form the largest automotive manufacturing cluster in North America. This cluster is successful because of the integrated nature of the cross-border supply chain.
  • The automotive industry is a key driver of the Canadian economy, representing 10 percent of manufacturing GDP and 17 percent of total merchandise exports.
  • Canada produces about 13 percent of all light vehicles assembled in North America.
  • Canada is home to more than 670 suppliers of traditional automotive components and hundreds more suppliers from other industries, such as information and communications technologies.

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