The U.S.’s open invitation to Canadian investors

| April 4, 2015 | 0 Comments
The U.S. and Canada share the world’s longest undefended border.

The U.S. and Canada share the world’s longest undefended border.

The United States has never been more open for business and this is particularly good news for
Canadian companies and investors. Our existing, vibrant economic and trade relationship — the largest in the world — and our geographic proximity make Canada uniquely poised to take advantage of investment opportunities in the United States.
Our investments in each other’s economies are already among the most comprehensive in the world and, in 2013, reached $649 billion. The United States is Canada’s largest source of foreign direct investment and Canada is the United States’ third largest investor. These figures not only reflect the strength of our economic relationship, but they are a tangible result of the mutual success we have when our governments encourage cross-border investment.
In March, I accompanied a Canadian trade and investment delegation to the 2015 SelectUSA Investment Summit in Washington, D.C. The SelectUSA Summit brought together more than 2,500 international investors and economic development offices from more than 40 states to facilitate investment in the United States. Companies of all sizes participated, from multinationals to small- and medium-sized enterprises, and high-growth start-ups. A SelectUSA Academy provided the opportunity for small- and medium-sized businesses looking to expand beyond Canada to learn how to capitalize on the U.S. market. In 2014, Canada sent the second-largest delegation, 40 members, to SelectUSA and this year, that attendance doubled with an 84-member delegation.
In 2011, President Barack Obama launched the SelectUSA program to accelerate investment into the United States. SelectUSA facilitated more than $18 billion in new investment in its first two years alone.
Another way we seek to increase investment in the United States is through state-level trade visits to Canada. In 2014, we supported 11 trade and investment delegations from individual states. My goal is to increase that number this year. To that end, I wrote to all 50 state governors earlier this year, encouraging them to come to Canada to promote trade with and investment in their states.
These delegations are an excellent opportunity for Canadian suppliers, manufacturers and service firms to meet directly with state representatives and learn about specific investment opportunities, available resources, U.S. products and ways to expand existing business relationships.
With a GDP of more than $17 trillion and a population of more than 317 million, the United States offers a tremendous opportunity for Canadian companies seeking to expand their market. Our highly skilled and productive labour force, world-leading innovation and predictable legal and regulatory climate, all make the United States a natural destination for Canadian investment and business expansion.
In terms of what we trade, top categories for U.S. exports to Canada include: Vehicles, machinery, electrical machinery, mineral fuel and oil (oil and natural gas) and plastic. Canada’s top exports to the U.S. are similar: Mineral fuel and oil (crude and natural gas), vehicles, machinery and plastic.
Innovation drives the U.S. economy and I invite you to take advantage of the innovation ecosystem we have developed. The United States has seven of the Top-10 ranked universities in the world, according to the Times Higher Education World Rankings. These institutions contribute directly to U.S. research and development and help the United States maintain its position as an international leader in innovation. In 2014, projections for research and development spending in the U.S. surpassed $465 billion, more than China and Japan combined. Our strong intellectual property rights ensure that benefits of innovation, whether patents, copyrights or trademarks, are protected.
Our joint work in the Beyond the Border and Regulatory Cooperation Council initiatives expedites cross-border business, minimizes red tape and reduces transaction costs. Programs such as NEXUS, pre-clearance, and trusted trader are showing real results and help Canadian companies do business in the U.S. every day.
Investment and expansion, to the U.S. in particular, have helped many Canadian companies become among the largest and most successful in the world. When Canadian companies consider expanding overseas, they should instead think of the United States as the prime destination for their investment.

Bruce Heyman is the ambassador of the United States. Reach him at ottawainfo@state.gov or on Twitter @BruceAHeyman.

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Bruce Heyman is the ambassador of the United States. Reach him at ottawainfo@state.gov or on Twitter @BruceAHeyman.

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