Value of trade with Canada recognized during Consul General visit

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ROCKFORD, Jan. 15 — Consul General of Canada Roy Norton shared insight about the growing opportunities in U.S.-Canada trade with more than 100 business and government leaders from the Rockford Region on Jan. 15 at the Radisson Hotel & Conference Center.

Norton was the keynote speaker for “Canada and the Midwest: International Trade Opportunities,” presented by the Rockford Area Economic Development Council and the National Defense Industry Association, Great Lakes Chapter.

Canada is Illinois’ largest trading partner, representing 30.6 percent of Illinois’ exports. Our state’s exports to the country have grown rapidly as well: up 35 percent from 2010 to 2013 and slightly faster than overall export growth of 32 percent.

“The Rockford area is important to Canada. We are the USA’s — and Illinois’ — best customer. Ours is an exceptional trade and investment relationship. And, befitting best friends and closest allies, we enjoy outstanding defense and security ties,” Norton said.

Other important statistics:
* Illinois had $20.2 billion in exports to Canada and $39.9 billion in imports from Canada in 2013.
* Illinois ranks second among U.S. states in imports from Canada.

At least five Canadian companies invest in the Rockford Region, representing the financial and intermodal logistics industries: BMO Harris Bank, Canadian National, Canadian Pacific, Gerber Collision & Glass and RBC Wealth Management.

Another northern Illinois connection is a recent new Rockford Area Aerospace Network member: Safety Socket — a Gilberts manufacturer of high-strength, made-to-print fasteners serving the aerospace, military and commercial marketplace — sells products used by three companies in Canada: Siemens Milltronics, General Dynamics and Bombardier.

That connection is also personal for Safety Socket President Jim Erbs: “My wife is Canadian, and hence, our three sons are half-Canadian. We have a summer cottage on Georgian Bay north of Toronto, and we spend an estimated month each year there.”

“Our state’s equipment and machinery exports to Canada are of great significance, and overall, 344,300 jobs in Illinois depend on Canada-U.S. trade and investment,” said Carrie Zethmayr, RAEDC executive director of trade and investment. “We are grateful to have Mr. Norton’s commitment of time today and for the long haul.”

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Premier Sponsor: Safety Socket
Supporting Sponsor: Banneker Industries, Inc.

Alpine Bank, Building Trades/Project First Rate, City of Loves Park, City of Rockford,
Comcast Business, ComEd, Fehr Graham, First Rockford Group, Greater Rockford Airport Authority, IBEW/NECA, JP Morgan Chase, Larson & Darby Group, Mid-West Family Broadcasting, Northern Illinois Building Contractors Association, OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center, Rockford Area REALTORS, Rockford Health System, Rockford Public Schools, Rockford Register Star, SwedishAmerican Health System, Townsquare Media LLC, UTC Aerospace Systems, Village of Machesney Park, WIFR-TV, Winnebago County, Woodward Inc., WQRF TV/WTVO TV, WREX-TV

The primary role of the Rockford Area Economic Development Council is to enhance wealth creation in the Rockford Region by helping employers retain and create quality jobs. The RAEDC works closely with many partners to serve as a one-stop resource for clients, to improve the competitiveness of the region, and to engage the community in the work of economic development.

The Consulate General of Canada based in Chicago, which represents Canada in Illinois, Missouri, Wisconsin, Northwest Indiana and Kansas City Metro, promotes Canadian interests, including trade, investment, the environment, culture and academic relations. The office also provides consular and passport services for Canadians.

ABOUT NDIA – Great Lakes Chapter
America’s leading defense industry association promoting national security. NDIA Membership means knowledge, access, influence, and contacts, regardless of your role in the defense community. NDIA’s 52 chapters, many of which are located near major military commands, research centers, and defense agencies, conduct programs to inform their communities about national security and the industrial base. There are currently over 300 organizations consisting of more than 1180 active NDIA members in the Great Lakes Chapter. 





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