Premier Kathleen Wynne released the following statement after her meeting with U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross in Washington, D.C. this morning:
“It has never been more important for Ontario to engage in productive dialogue with our neighbours in the U.S. As we approach the third round of NAFTA negotiations, I am pleased to be back in Washington, D.C.
This morning, I had a productive meeting with Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. Our conversation focused on the importance of cross-border trade in creating jobs and delivering benefits for workers, businesses and consumers. We spoke about Ontario’s forestry and paper sectors and the families in more than 260 communities across our province who depend on it. Secretary Ross and I also discussed the opportunities presented by a renewed NAFTA — one that reflects our fast-paced, innovation-driven global business climate. I also expressed Ontario’s confidence in the three countries’ ability to reach a deal that will benefit people and businesses across North America.
While in Washington, I am also honoured to deliver the 2017-2018 Thomas O. Enders Memorial Lecture at Johns Hopkins University.
Over the past few months, I have shared a clear message with our U.S. partners — Ontario and the U.S. have many common goals, and free trade and open borders help us achieve them. I have met or spoken with dozens of governors, senators, members of Congress and members of state assemblies over the past eight months. Every one of them has agreed that North America works best when we work together. Our federal governments are working productively at the negotiating table, but as provinces and states we too have a voice and a key advocacy role to play. I am looking forward to furthering these discussions with more partners in Washington today.
As Canada works with the U.S. and Mexico to renegotiate NAFTA, Ontario will continue to engage with partners across North America to advocate for free trade and cross-border partnership.
We remain confident that a renewed NAFTA will continue to support good jobs and economic growth here in Ontario and we remain committed to making sure that people and businesses across the province have every possible opportunity to get ahead.”