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31 Mar


Favourable cross-border business climate in the bi-national Great Lakes – St Lawrence Region faces uncertain future

March 31, 2017 | By |

Great Lakes Economic Forum to discuss importance of open borders and markets.

Representing US$5.8 trillion in economic activity (8 per cent of global GDP), the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Region accounts for roughly 50 per cent of total Canada-U.S. cross-border trade and approximately one third of total Canada-U.S. two-way trade with the world. Supporting 50 million jobs, or a third of the combined American and Canadian workforce, the emergence of new barriers to trade, investment, and mobility could put the historically strong integrated economic relationship in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Region at serious risk.

“The eight Great Lakes states and two Canadian provinces that make up this global economic powerhouse trade more with each other than with any other country in the world. In fact, the region comprises 74% of the total value of bilateral imports and exports moving across all border ports of entry by truck, rail or pipeline.” said Mark Fisher, Council of the Great Lakes Region’s President and CEO. “This is why the Great Lakes Economic Forum this April in Detroit will be the most important Forum since its launch in 2015, because thickening the border would not only slow investment and fragment critical supply chains; it would negatively impact millions of good-paying U.S. and Canadian jobs.”

The third Great Lakes Economic Forum will begin with a presentation by Doug Porter, BMO Financial Group Chief Economist, as he releases the bank’s 2017 Great Lakes Economic Outlook. In its 2016 outlook, the bank noted that the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence region remains a key contributor to North American economic output, employment and trade.  “The region’s economy has seen a welcome cyclical improvement recently, but there are currently more questions than answers on the trade and investment environment – casting some doubt on the medium-term outlook,” said Mr. Porter.

Held in Detroit, Michigan and Windsor, Ontario from April 24 – 26, the third Great Lakes Economic Forum provides an opportunity for business executives, government officials, academia and non-profit sector leaders from around the region to share insights into the biggest economic, social and environmental policy issues facing the bi-national Great Lakes – St. Lawrence Region, as well as ideas on how the region can work together to boost its competitive edge and secure long-term success and sustainability.

To register or learn more about speaking and sponsorship opportunities, please visit our registration page at

Ray McIlroy

Kaiser Lachance Communications