New York’s proximity to Canada is a tremendous asset and a significant driver of economic activity. The U.S. and Canada share a $1.2 trillion economic relationship, including trade, tourism and other activities. Canada is the largest source of foreign direct investment in the United States, and in Clinton County alone Canada’s presence accounts for approximately $1.6 billion in economic impact every year.
Canada’s presence in the region is important on a number of levels. Tourists from Canada made more than 21 million trips to the United States in 2011, spending more than $24 billion in the process. We have 13 border crossings in New York’s 21st Congressional District facilitating trade and travel. Whether Canadians come to ski, shop, fish or simply enjoy the scenic beauty, New York businesses and taxpayers benefit.
Before coming to Congress, I worked closely with local economic development leaders in Clinton County to recruit Canadian businesses. We had some significant success, and I believe communities across the district have a real opportunity to leverage America’s relationship with Canada to drive local job creation. As Congressman and Co-Chairman of the Congressional Northern Border Caucus, I remain focused on efforts to improve cross border trade, reduce wait times at the border, and otherwise leverage partnerships like the Beyond the Border Initiative and the Regulatory Cooperation Council to help communities across the district do exactly that.
I am eager to work with local businesses and economic development interests to build upon the past successes of the region in promoting cross-border trade. We can do more to leverage this remarkable geographic advantage, and I look forward to the good work that is yet to come on this important issue.