Ontario and Michigan are agreeing to continue their trade relationship.
Premier Doug Ford and Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed a new Economic Cooperation Memorandum of Understanding during a virtual ceremony on Tuesday.
The MOU will support joint initiatives in priority areas, such as electric vehicles and could include joint trade promotion and missions, and new post-secondary exchange programs, and efforts to identify opportunities for strategic partnerships that will help businesses compete internationally.
Governor Whitmer says Canada and Ontario are important trade partners for her state.
"Canada was the top destination for Michigan exports last year, valued at $27 billion," says Whitmer. "Canada has been one of the top job-creating nations in Michigan over the past five years, creating 3900 jobs for Michiganders. And our steady exchange of ideas and commerce supporters. They affect us all. So we got to continue to work together to build and prosperous future for future generations."
Over eight per cent of all trade between the U.S. and Canada in 2022 was between Ontario and Michigan.
Premier Ford sees the MOU helping to build those numbers.
"It will promote more trade and help us identify new opportunities for strategic partnerships that will help our businesses compete internationally. It will facilitate faster, more efficient border crossings and help businesses on both sides of the border gain access to government procurement opportunities. It will help build our economies, strengthen our integrated supply chains, including for EVs, and create good-paying jobs on both sides of the border," says Ford.
The two leaders also exchanged hockey jerseys, with Ford receiving a Detroit Red Wings jersey bearing the name of Mississauga-born Robby Fabbri and Whitmer, a Leafs one, emblazoned with her name on the back.