Canada Seeks Further Trade Opportunities With Ohio, Including Aerospace
Douglas George is the Consul General of Canada. He’s wrapping up a visit of Ohio’s three largest cities, which included a trip to the NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland.
George says it was an introductory visit, but he knows he’ll be back again to learn more about the research and development going on there.
“They’re looking at fantastic state of the art materials as well as improving aeronautical engines,” says George. “We have research interests in common. Canada is one of the major aerospace producers in the world. Our hub is in (the) Montreal area, and it’s probably the third largest aerospace city in the world.”
George also says advances in aeronautic research and development could eventually help monitor and control toxic algae blooms across the Great Lakes.
In trying to promote further trade with Canada, the Consul General points to NAFTA -- the North American Free Trade Agreement -- as an accelerator for commerce.
Canada is Ohio’s top export market, with more than $37 billion of trade happening every year on average…followed by Mexico with roughly $10 billion.
George notes NAFTA has benefited all three economies.
“It’s allowed us to -- instead of just trading with each other -- build things together and allowed all three countries to become more competitive,” explains George. “Because largely we’re now competing with the rest of the world, and so we’ve been put into an excellent position.”
George says while there have been economics ups and downs since NAFTA began, he doesn’t think it’s attributable to the agreement. Rather, he says NAFTA helped cushion the blows.
Meanwhile, NAFTA critics say it’s hurt U.S. manufacturing through outsourcing and lower wages.