The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce support our respective national, state and provincial leaders, and in particular the Kentucky congressional delegation and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne in actively encouraging the renewal of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) during the current renegotiation process.
Trade between Kentucky and Ontario is of critical importance, with almost $11 billion at stake. While Kentucky and Ontario economies are different, Kentucky relying heavily on manufacturing to produce economic activity and Ontario is a diversified economy, the trade relationship between the two is mutually beneficial resulting in jobs and economic growth.
“Canada is one of Kentucky’s top export markets. Whether it is automobiles and auto parts, agricultural commodities, aerospace products, or our bourbon moving north, Kentucky is supplying important products to the Ontario economy,” said Dave Adkisson, president and CEO of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. “In fact, in 2016 Kentucky was among the top 10 states providing Ontario’s imports.”
“The OCC is working collaboratively with the Kentucky Chamber to add positive momentum for a renewed NAFTA to ensure continued prosperity and competitiveness for both our economies,” said Rocco Rossi, president and CEO at the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. “We know that trade is a way of improving results for everyone and we will continue to work with our Chamber Network, US Chambers and the Government of Ontario in support of free trade.”
In Kentucky 540,000 jobs are supported by trade and the commonwealth set a record last year of $30.9 billion in exports with Canada representing the top market accounting for 25 percent of Kentucky exports. The Kentucky business community has traditionally supported trade agreements that open markets to fuel economic growth. Trade with Canada and specifically Ontario must continue, and the NAFTA renegotiations should serve to strengthen the relationship between our nations not weaken it.