Canadian Consul General speaks on Ohio-Canada relationship

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Roy B. Norton, the Canadian Consul General, paid a visit to Ohio University Thursday to talk about the trading partnership between his country and the state of Ohio.


The Ohio University College of Business and College of Arts and Sciences hosted the discussion, "The World''s Largest Trading Relationship: How the United States and Canada Built It – and Where It''s Headed."


“Ohio and Canada and even Southern Ohio and Canada are very economically integrated,” Norton explained. “We depend a lot on one another and we need to take that into account when we make policy.”


Norton said Canada buys more goods and services from Ohio than the next seven global customers put together. The trading relationship is worth $35.9 billion. 286,700 Ohio Jobs depend on this relationship. 18,500 Ohioans are employed by Canadian-owned businesses.


He said that Southern Ohio plays a major role in the relationship.


“In this part of Ohio, the 6th and 15th congressional districts between them export more than a billion and a half dollars worth of goods and services to Canada each year and something in the order of 22,000 jobs in those two districts depend on trade with Canada,” he said. “Another 1300 folks in those two districts work for Canadian owned companies that are operating in the district and so everyone should be mindful of all of that.”


Norton said Ohioans should take all these statistics into account when they make policies. He said Ohioans hurt themselves when they do things that negatively affect Canada.


He suggested that Ohioans support policies that protect their relationship with Canada. Examples he provided were support for the Ambassador Bridge, which connects Detroit, Michagan and Windsor, Ontario, support for Keystone XL pipeline extensions, and support for the prospect of more Ohio-Canada energy integration.


“Those would be things that I think folks in this part of the state would do well to speak up on including to your members of congress, your state legislators, your state administration, and your national administration,” he said. “Indicate that these are also priorities for people here.”


The College of Business said that in addition to his lecture, Norton also be visited the University’s Innovation Center and toured the local business community.