Congressman Bill Owens has traveled to Canada several times recently to promote economic expansion of international business into New York State.
Owens was in Cornwall, Ontario Monday to meet with the city’s chamber of commerce and several local businesses to promote northern New York as a region ready to take on new economic development.
“Northern New York’s proximity to Canada supports nearly 20,000 jobs in the region and holds the potential to spur much more economic growth in the coming years,” said Owens. “With the implementation of the Beyond the Border Agreement, we have a great opportunity to increase cross-border trade and bring Canadian businesses into New York.”
Owens said he believes strengthening the trade relationship between U.S. and Canada would improve the local economy.
For the past year, Owens has advocated increasing the duty exemptions Canadian shoppers receive when they visit New York. On June 1, 2012, the Canadian government raised the tax exemption at the border on goods purchased in America by Canadian shoppers. According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, this contributed to a 4.5 percent increase of personal vehicle traffic through the ports of entry at Massena, Alexandria Bay, and Champlain during the month of June compared to last year.
In May, Owens addressed trade and border issues at a seminar in Montreal held by the North Country and Ireland-Canada Chambers of Commerce.
This month, Owens joined Senator Chuck Schumer at Bombardier in Plattsburgh to push for an extension of a tax credit for local businesses that hire veterans.
Last week, Owens, joined by North Country Chamber of Commerce President Garry Douglas, met with a prospective transportation business in Boston to discuss expansion into the North Country.
Also last week, Owens urged the U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk to use Canada’s recent invitation to enter into the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations as an opportunity to address a competitive trade barrier that Owens believes is unfairly imposed against New York wineries.