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Detroit, Michigan and Windsor, Canada: Intertwined through Manufacturing and Trade

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Guest blog by Nicole Lamb-Hale, Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing and Services

Today, I joined members of the President’s Export Council (PEC), U.S. and Canadian officials and U.S. and Canadian businesses to discuss border trade opportunities and challenges between American and Canadian companies. Canada and the United States share a unique relationship = we share not only borders, but economies.

Canada and the United States’ economies are greatly intertwined. The two nations share the world’s largest and most comprehensive trading relationship, which supports millions of jobs in each country. However, Canada and the United States don’t simply trade goods with each other: we build things together and rely on each other’s markets to design and build products that compete in global markets.

In 2010, U.S. Exports to Canada were worth $249.1 billion, 19 percent of total U.S. exports. These exports include motor vehicles and parts, agricultural and construction machinery, computer equipment, iron and steel, basic chemicals and petroleum and coal products.  
The Administration will continue to work hard to help Michigan companies grow by breaking into foreign markets, increasing exports and creating jobs.
The simple fact is that the more American – and Michigan – companies export, the more they produce. The more they produce, the more workers they need. And that means jobs. Good paying jobs here at home.

And Michigan knows exports – with the automotive supply chain, it’s been a key aspect of the economy for many years. In 2010, Michigan exported $44.8 billion worth of goods and the largest market for those goods was Canada, receiving 49 percent or $22.1 billion of the state’s total merchandise exports.

A total of 11,796 companies exported goods from Michigan in 2008. Of those, 90 percent (10,651) were small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).  SMEs generated 13 percent of Michigan’s total exports of merchandise in 2008.

And exports fuel employment in Michigan, too.

Consider that, in 2009, over one-quarter – 26.7 percent – of all manufacturing workers in Michigan depended on exports for their jobs. The jobs in exporting manufacturing industries are good-paying jobs; they pay 18 percent more than average in America.

Exactly the type of jobs we need a lot more of.

And that’s exactly why I’m grateful for the opportunity to come to Detroit and talk to businesses about what’s working.  About ways to strengthen and grow our trade relationship with our largest trading partner.  About ways to help them grow their bottom line and create jobs – all why increasing exports and achieving the President’s National Export Initiative.

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