Bi-National Great Lakes Border Trade and Supply Chain Alliance Launched

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

NOVEMBER 16TH, 2022

Today, the Council of the Great Lakes Region (CGLR), in collaboration with The Federal Bridge Corporation Limited (FBCL) and members of the Bridge and Tunnel Operators Association (BTOA), are excited to announce the launch of the Great Lakes Border Trade and Supply Chain Alliance.

Because of the pandemic, as well as extreme weather, expanding global trade, and evolving geopolitical risks, borders and the movement of goods are in sharp focus once again for policymakers and companies, as outlined in the National Supply Chain Task Force’s final report to Canada’s Minister of Transport, Action. Collaboration. Transformation., and the White House’s report, Building Resilient Supply Chains, Revitalizing American Manufacturing, and Fostering Broad-Based Growth.

Recognizing the role that the bi-national Great Lakes region plays as North America’s economic engine, the aim of the new Alliance launched by CGLR, FBCL and the BTOA is to convene key border, transportation, business, and supply chain stakeholders and decision-makers from both sides of the border to discuss pressing issues facing regional and international Ports of Entry in the Great Lakes and the supply chains that underpin the region’s economic security and jobs.

Furthermore, aligned with CGLR’s focus on building a regional economy that can compete and win in a rapidly changing North American and global economy, the new Alliance will also serve as a forum to promote and pilot solutions that will achieve a smart, secure, and efficient border in the bi-national Great Lakes region, as well as more resilient, connected, and adaptive supply chains.

Quotes:

“The economy of the bi-national Great Lakes region rivals most nations and in many ways serves as the engine of U.S. and Canadian competitiveness,” said Mark Fisher, President and CEO of the Council of the Great Lakes Region. “As the region’s ports and sectors deal with the emergence of new border management challenges and supply chain performance risks, the Great Lakes Border Trade and Supply Chain Alliance will provide a venue to bring stakeholders together as one to understand and promote solutions to these issues.”

“We are pleased to be supporting this forum to bring people and institutions together for the benefit of the border,” said Natalie Kinloch, Chief Executive Officer of The Federal Bridge Corporation. “FBCL has had a history of participating in discussions that aid in the safe, reliable, and efficient movement of goods and people between Canada and the U.S. Now more than ever, we see the benefits of robust and efficient land border crossings, not only for travelers whom we have missed these past few years, but also for the billions of dollars in trade and tourism that support the Great Lakes Region, and indeed, Canada.”

“We’re looking forward to working with this new Alliance,” said Peter Petainen, Bridge Director of the Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge and BTOA President. “We are strong supporters of a unified voice that will strengthen the region and build collective partnerships for the mutual benefit of Canada and the United States. We believe this alliance will help bring awareness and support for our critical infrastructure that is so vital to maintaining a safe, sustainable, and efficient border.”

“Given current geopolitical, environmental, and economic developments, creation of this new Alliance to focus on cross-border trade and supply chain issues is much-needed and incredibly timely,” said Jeff Weiss, a Partner and lead of the Supply Chain practice at Steptoe & Johnson LLP in Washington, DC, former co-chair of the Canada-United States Regulatory Cooperation Council, and current Board member of CGLR. “From facilitating goods movement to improving supply chain security, resilience, and sustainability, the Alliance is uniquely suited to educate policymakers on both sides of the border, provide critical thought leadership, and convene private and public sector stakeholders in the Great Lakes region to build and enhance commercial ties throughout the region, develop solutions to key trade and supply chain policy issues, and enhance regional competitiveness.”

About the Council of the Great Lakes Region:

CGLR is a network of organizations comprised of CGLR Foundation, CGLR USA, and CGLR Canada. It is dedicated to creating stronger, more dynamic regional collaborations through dialogue, policy research and programs, and advocacy in order to find new ways of harnessing the bi-national Great Lakes region’s economic strengths and assets, improving the well-being and livelihoods of the region’s citizens, and protecting the environment and the Great Lakes for future generations. Learn more at https://councilgreatlakesregion.org/.

About the Federal Bridge Corporation Limited:

The Federal Bridge Corporation Limited (FBCL) is a parent Crown corporation that operates at arm’s length from the federal government. Headquartered in Ottawa, the corporation is responsible for the Canadian federal interests at four of the eleven international bridges in Ontario: Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge in Sault Ste. Marie, the Blue Water International Bridge in Point Edward, the Thousand Island International Bridge in Lansdowne, and the Seaway International Bridge in Cornwall. Learn more at https://federalbridge.ca/.

About the Bridge and Tunnel Operators Association:

The Bridge and Tunnel Operators Association (BTOA) is a binational membership organization representing the international bridge and tunnel crossings between the Province of Ontario and the States of Michigan and New York, representing $365 billion dollars of trade between the United States and Canada, with service to approximately 28 million vehicles annually. Learn more at https://www.bridgeandtunneloperators.org/.

Contact:

Mark Fisher, President and CEO, CGLR, mark@councilgreatlakesregion.org

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