Owens Pushes for Canadian Business Expansion into New York State
NORTHERN NEW YORK – This week, Congressman Bill Owens traveled to Canada to continue his push for 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 has worked to improve the local economy by strengthening the trade relationship between U.S. and Canada.
- For the past year, Owens has pushed to expand 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% 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. Of note, the Port of Champlain experienced a 17.6% increase in personal vehicle traffic and the Port of Alexandria Bay experienced a 10.9% increase in personal vehicle traffic for the month of June compared to the same time period 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.
- 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 is unfairly imposed against New York wineries.
While there is still much to be done to improve the local economy, there has been positive news on the economic front in the region. Monday, Bombardier announced a $25 million expansion of its manufacturing facility in Plattsburgh. Earlier this month, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced his support for a critical biomass project that would boost economic growth in the region and support energy needs at Fort Drum. The project, proposed by the Albany-area company ReEnergy, would help provide for the post’s energy requirements and is expected to create 300 jobs in the region when it opens in early 2013.