Monday, the Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism), attended a round-table meeting with Canadian and American small business owners on cross-border issues affecting small business. The Minister of State was joined by David Jacobson, United States Ambassador to Canada, and Catherine Swift, President and CEO of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.
“I was pleased to sit down with small business owners from Canada and the United States to hear about the challenges of cross-border trade,” said Minister of State Bernier. “Canada and the United States remain strongly committed to improving our shared border to increase cross-border trade, economic growth and job creation for our respective countries.”
The United States is Canada’s most important export market, with trade supporting one in seven jobs in Canada. In turn, Canada is America’s largest export market-larger than China, larger than Mexico, larger than Japan or all the countries of the European Union combined. Thus, it is in the interests of both Canada and the United States to ensure that our common border remains open, efficient and secure.
In February, Prime Minister Harper and President Obama announced an initiative entitled “Beyond the Border: a shared vision for perimeter security and economic competitiveness.” This initiative establishes a new, long-term partnership between Canada and the United States that is designed to strengthen security while accelerating the legitimate movement of people and goods between the two countries, thereby improving economic competitiveness. The Government of Canada is working with the U.S. government to develop a joint action plan to implement the goals of the initiative, which is expected to be released later this year.
“Jobs and growth will continue to be a priority for our government, and we are committed to ensuring that small businesses play a key role in driving our economy forward,” said Minister of State Bernier. “These efforts include defending free and open trade on the global stage, as we recognize that protectionism stalls growth and kills jobs.”
The Government of Canada is committed to providing the best business climate possible for entrepreneurs through measures such as creating the Hiring Credit for Small Business, reducing the small business tax rate from 12 to 11 percent and establishing the Red Tape Reduction Commission to cut government red tape and reduce unnecessary paperwork.