Canadian-American Business Community Calls For Collaborative Response to COVID-19 Crisis, Unveils New Portal for Cross-Border Advocacy

May 21, 2020 – Today, 27 groups representing businesses and communities across Canada and the United States unveiled the following joint statement calling for continued strong cross-border cooperation, trade, and supply chains as a critical component of both countries’ COVID-19 public health and economic response and recovery efforts. The groups, led by the Canadian American Business Council, also unveiled a new advocacy portal that will allow other businesses and organizations to sign on to the statement and make their voices heard.

“The COVID-19 public health and economic crisis has been devastating for workers, families, and businesses across Canada and America. As both countries work to keep citizens safe and help businesses and workers get back on their feet, it is clearer than ever that a unified manufacturing supply chain between Canada, and the United States must be protected and strengthened.

“While cross-border cooperation has long been a key component of both countries’ economic prosperity, this crisis has highlighted the critical need to maintain the fluid border that is essential to many critical sectors that cross national boundaries. In addition, the urgent need for critical medical supplies to move seamlessly across our borders to get to where they are needed most has exposed key vulnerabilities in our manufacturing ecosystem that must be addressed.

“The longstanding partnership between Canada and the United States – ranging from logistics, to economics, to geopolitics, and more – is a key strategic asset to both countries, now more than ever before, Many critical sectors depend on trade between our two countries – including medical equipment, food and agriculture; communications and energy; automotive and industrial; transit equipment and aerospace; law enforcement and first responders.

“More than any two countries in the world, the U.S. and Canada make things together as integrated economic partners. The U.S. sells more goods to Canada than to any country – more than it sells to China, Japan and the UK combined.

“That is why we believe that both countries must stand strong for a common cross-border manufacturing response as we tackle the COVID-19 public health crisis and help our shared economies rebuild and recover.

“Specifically, we believe that our two countries must continue to work together on a collaborative manufacturing response to COVID-19, to achieve the following objectives:

  • Securing the availability of personal protection equipment (PPE) in both countries;
  • Designing Canada-US manufacturing solutions to replenish and maintain strategic stockpiles of medical equipment;
  • Continuing to ensure people and goods cross the border efficiently without interrupting our critical supply chains;
  • Expanding market opportunities between our two countries in order to spur recovery and compete globally.

“Maintaining an open and efficient supply chain through and beyond COVID-19 will save lives and help us in the fight against this pandemic. It will provide the infrastructure required for jumpstarting the economy to compete with other regions of the world in a rapidly-changing global economic environment.

“We stand with a growing number of businesses, workers, and advocacy organizations to urge our governments and all American and Canadians to stand together in the global marketplace, push aside those who would divide us, and meet our global competition head-on.”

Association of Oil Pipelines
Andrew Black, President & CEO

Andrew Casey, President & CEO

Business Council of Canada
Goldy Hyder, President & CEO

Canadian American Business Council.
Maryscott Greenwood, CEO

Canada Arizona Business Council
Glenn Williamson, Founder & CEO

CanAm Border Trade Alliance
James D. Philips, President & CEO

Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters
Dennis Darby, President & CEO

Canadian Pharmacists Association
Glen Doucet, CEO

Energy Equipment and Infrastructure Alliance
Toby Mack, President & CEO

Government of Ontario
Ian Todd, Ontario’s Representative in Washington, D.C.
Earl Provost, Ontario Agent General in Chicago, Illinois
Jag Badwall, Ontario Agent General in Dallas, Texas

Government of Quebec
Catherine Loubier, Québec’s Delegate General in New York
Marie-Claude Francoeur, Quebec’s Delegate in Boston
Martine Hebert, Quebec’s Delegate in Chicago

Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce
Joe Reardon, President & CEO

International Business Council, Illinois Chamber of Commerce
Laura Ortega, Executive Director

Innovative Medicines Canada
Pamela C. Fralick, President

Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce
Tom Torti, President

Medtech Canada
Brian Lewis, President

New England Canada Business Council
Jon F Sorenson, President

New Hampshire Canadian Trade Council
Senator Lou D’Allesandro, Chair

North Country Chamber of Commerce
Garry Douglas, President & CEO

Ohio-Canada Business Association
Dan Ujczo, President

Ontario Chamber of Commerce
Rocco Rossi, President & CEO

Quebec’s Federation of Chambers of Commerce
Charles Milliard, President & CEO

The Business Council of New York State, Inc
Heather C. Briccetti, President & CEO

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce
Honourable Perrin Beatty, P.C., O.C., President & CEO

U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Neil Herrington, Senior Vice President for the Americas

Vermont Chamber of Commerce
Christopher Carrigan, V.P. Business Development

Women In Trucking Association
Ellen Voie, President & CEO


“It is critical in times of crisis to ensure the maintenance of the Canada-US relationship. This means fighting back against protectionism, and buy-American and buy-Canadian. The Canadian American Business Council advocates for an open and efficient supply chain in both times of peace and crisis for the mutual benefit of our two countries.”  – Maryscott Greenwood, CEO of the Canadian American Business Council

“Quebecers and Americans share a long history grounded in common values and interests. We make things and build prosperity together. In times of crisis, this partnership is more crucial than ever. Last year, the U.S. imported US $5B of Covid-19 related products from Canada, nearly 25% of which were from Québec.  We must continue to fight protectionism, bolster supply chains and keep the border fluid in order to revive growth and ensure that our economic region remains one of the strongest and most competitive in the world.”- Catherine Loubier, Québec’s Delegate General in New York; Marie-Claude Francoeur, Quebec’s Delegate in Boston; Martine Hebert, Quebec’s Delegate in Chicago

“The close economic partnership between Canada and the United States remains critical in the pandemic and will be even more so in our economic recovery. ‘We make things together’ is a common refrain that captures our close trade ties. Looking ahead, we must focus on ensuring the safety of health care and other essential workers, identifying a pathway to safely resume normal economic activity, and eliminating obstacles to the resumption of economic growth. We need to continue to align in how we identify critical industries and workers and avoid the emergence of new export restrictions and other trade barriers that would impede our pandemic response and recovery efforts. We need the Canada-U.S. partnership more than ever.”  – Neil Herrington, Senior Vice President for the Americas, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

“The U.S. and Canada have a unique economic partnership that has moved beyond trade and is unlike any other. Together, we compete with greater effectiveness against the rest of the world. In the past, this special relationship has found itself automatically swept into responses to unfair trade or economic challenges involving other places. As we recover from this pandemic and reclaim economic leadership, it is crucial this not happen and that we instead move together.” – Garry Douglas, President/CEO of the North Country Chamber of Commerce

“The COVID-19 crisis is forcing businesses from all sectors to adapt their operations and the way they are doing business. One thing, however, that will not change is the importance of trade with the United States for the Quebec economy and the privileged ties that unite us. More than ever, it is by working closely together that we will strengthen our competitiveness on the continent and around the world. We have always been strong supporters of a competitive economic environment and we are pleased to add the voice of the FCCQ to this joint statement, which is important for our common prosperity and fostering economic recovery.” Charles Milliard, President and CEO, Quebec’s Federation of Chambers of Commerce (FCCQ)

“There has always been a need for a strong manufacturing supply chain between New York State and Canada. Now, more than ever the two markets need to work together to ensure the healthy and prosperous relationship stays strong as both economies start to recover from the abrupt disruption this global pandemic created.” – Heather C. Briccetti, President & CEO, The Business Council of New York State, Inc.

“The United States and Canada have the most unique economic trade relationship in the World.  The Canada–United States border, officially known as the International Boundary, is the longest un-militarized international border in the world between two countries. In New England, Canada continues to be our number one trading partner.  We believe this terrible crisis, will bring our two regions and our two countries even closer, trading goods and services with a friendly and trusted partner.  We support our two countries recovering and prospering together,” – Jon F Sorenson, President of the New England Canada Business Council

“The Vermont Chamber’s work extends to Canada, and, in partnership with our neighbors to the North, we are leveraging our cross-border contacts to identify manufacturers with excess supply and who can aid in the production of personal protection equipment (PPE) to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, more than ever, and in the aftermath of this crisis, we will be relying on our strong regional, international, cross-border supply-chain.” – Christopher Carrigan, V.P. Business Development, Vermont Chamber of Commerce

“Vermont relies on a robust, integrated and accessible supply chain to support its robust manufacturing base. We are pleased to see that our state, and our partner states, are easing restrictions in accordance with the best scientific advice and principles available. We join with others in looking forward to our joint return to prosperity” Tom Torti, President of the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce

“Now more than ever, the manufacturing partnership with our Canadian neighbors is a priority and most critical as we move beyond the Covid-19 crisis. The trade between such neighbors includes many necessities of life and is a lifeline to both countries. We join hands to support each other and ultimately becoming one in our success together” – Senator Lou D’Allesandro, Chair of the New Hampshire Canadian Trade Council

“Canada is an indispensable commercial partner for the State of Illinois that supports nearly 400,000 jobs through foreign direct investment and cross-border trade. It is our largest export market which totaled $17.73 billion in 2018, representing 27 percent of the state’s total goods exports. Our integrated supply-chains have realized over the years a significant advantage for Illinois companies’ competitiveness in the global market and led to joint innovation and prosperity.  Canada is also the most important US strategic alliance to protect our shared resources and confront global security challenges like the current pandemic. We must ensure that this collaboration continues to effectively respond to Covid-19 and revamp our economies” – Laura Ortega, Executive Director of the International Business Council, Illinois Chamber of Commerce

“Ontario and the United States have a common history. Our geographic proximity, shared economic interests, and interconnected supply chains resulted in nearly USD $300 billion in two-way trade last year. If Ontario was a stand-alone country, we would be the United States’ third largest trading partner. Working together is something that comes naturally to Ontario and the United States, and working together is how we can best ensure adequate availability of personal protection equipment for our citizens, both now through cooperative sourcing and moving forward through shared manufacturing solutions. As the current health crisis reshapes our world, it is vital that the United States and Canada commit to fighting protectionism and promote the free flow of goods and people across our shared border.” – Ian Todd, Ontario’s Representative in Washington, D.C.Earl Provost, Ontario Agent General in Chicago, IllinoisJag Badwall, Ontario Agent General in Dallas, Texas

“The Canada-US relationship is critical for economic recovery, particularly for the province of Ontario. Ontario is the number one trading partner with 19 states and the second largest trading partner with nine others. With two-way trade between Ontario and the US totalling CAD$390 billion in 2018, fostering an environment that encourages collaboration, particularly with close allies and trading partners, can help stabilize the economy and safeguard public health. We cannot afford to compromise international supply chains during this crisis and beyond.” – Rocco Rossi, President and CEO, Ontario Chamber of Commerce

The Ohio-Canada relationship is the heart of the Great Lakes Region, which, in turn, is the center of the world’s largest economic hub. As we move toward business resumption, recovery and resiliency, companies require the infrastructure, innovation and investment that comes from integrated solutions.  In short, it is time for the goodwill and common sense that only shared Canada-US solutions can provide. – Dan Ujczo, President, Ohio-Canada Business Association

“Pipelines cross the U.S.-Canada border connecting North American families, workers and businesses to vital supplies of natural gas, crude oil, and refined petroleum products.  Keeping the border open for the movement of parts and workers operating, maintaining, and constructing energy pipelines will help our economies both now in these difficult times and later as we recover and restart. – Andrew Black, President & CEO, Association of Oil Pipelines

“Nearly two-thirds of Canada’s exports are manufactured goods, and more than 80 percent of these exports go to our CUSMA partners. Much of this trade is due to the deep integration of manufacturing operations across the North America. This integration has created a unique relationship for our countries; we do not simply trade goods with each other, we build things together, we innovate together, and we compete together against the rest of the world. It is critical North America maintains the integrity of those supply chains so manufacturers can continue their essential contribution to the fight against COVID-19.” – Dennis Darby, President & CEO of Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters

“Canada and the United States have long been friends, allies and partners in business. Particularly during the current pandemic, our shared border must not become a barrier to collaboration but remain a meeting place. The citizens of both our countries are stronger when we are together.” – Honourable Perrin Beatty, P.C., O.C., President & CEO, The Canadian Chamber of Commerce

“While the U.S. and Canada are two distinct sovereign nations, we are bound together for centuries in too many ways to count. U.S. and Canada social and positive economic qualities of life have individually and jointly benefited in large measure. Especially in difficult and challenging situations, our future opportunities and achievements depend on our continued positive relationship and a cooperative fluid shared Canada/U.S. land border.” – James D. Philips, President & CEO, Canadian/American Border Trad Alliance

The Canada-US relationship is unique, extraordinary and singular among the countries of the world. We must never become complacent and unappreciative of the historic bond between our two great nations. The world has changed in the last 90 days.  Now is the time for us to strengthen our ties to each other.  Let’s stop the negative rhetoric. We must be bolder, more creative and wildly innovative in order to grow stronger, together, in the post COVID world. – Glenn Williamson, Founder & CEO, Canada Arizona Business Council

 “The challenges our drivers are facing today are extreme, while the need for transportation in North America increases.  The need for a comprehensive plan for cross-border transit has never been greater to ensure our driver’s safety as well as their productivity.  The Women In Trucking Association supports the need to reduce unnecessary delays, especially those imposed by our respective governments and supports a collaborative effort between our countries.” – Ellen Voie, President & CEO, Women In Trucking Association

“A seamless network of energy infrastructure connects American and Canadian consumers and businesses to vital energy resources travelling in both directions. This keeps our North American communities warm in winter and cool in summer, and our businesses and factories humming with economical power that gives our consumers an enviable standard of living and our products and services competitive advantage in the global marketplace. An open border is critical to building, maintaining and operating this critical asset as our economies regain their robust growth.” – Toby Mack, President & CEO, Energy Equipment and Infrastructure Alliance

“Trade between the U.S. and Canada helps create jobs, boost economic growth, and better the lives of men and women in both nations. It is to our mutual benefit to continue fostering this robust relationship, leaving our supply chains open and unfettered during and post-pandemic. Together we are stronger.” – Joe Reardon, President and CEO, Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce

“Canada and the U.S. are two of the world’s strongest trading partners and this pandemic has underscored the necessity to continue to enhance the longstanding relationship between our two nations for the health and economic benefits to citizens on both sides of our border. Medical Technology companies in both countries rely on the free flow of materials needed to make the medical supplies and technologies that save lives and ensure that the doctors, nurses and other health care heroes on the front lines are equipped with everything they need to stay safe while providing care.” – Brian Lewis, President, Medtech Canada

“Now more than ever cross-border cooperation and coordination is critical to both addressing the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and ensuring a strong economic recovery. A secure and efficient flow of goods across the border is vital for job creation and our future economic growth. We must continue to work together to keep trade open, strengthen supply chains and enhance competitiveness.” – Goldy Hyder, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Business Council of Canada 

“The Canada-US economic partnership has historically been a foundational element of the economies of both nations.  The connectivity of our markets and access to capital and talent have made both economies stronger and more globally competitive.  The economic, social and health impact of the COVID-19 crisis has only increased the urgency and importance of maintaining the efficiency, effectiveness and security of this partnership.  Effectively maintaining existing supply chains and continuing to exchange science and ideas will prove to be critical to Canada’s and the United States’ ability to successfully work through the immediate health and economic challenge and jump-start the recovery for both nations over the period ahead.” – Andrew Casey, President & CEO, BIOTECanada