Resolution in Support of Construction of the New U.S. / Canada International Trade Crossing

WHEREAS, Canada, including the member provinces of The Council of State Governments (CSG), is the largest foreign trade partner for the United States and the largest export destination for 38 states; and
WHEREAS, Canada, including the member provinces of the CSG, purchased more than $710 billion in goods and services from the United States in 2012; and
WHEREAS, more than 8 million U.S. jobs depend on Canada-U.S. trade, and
WHEREAS, 2.4 million jobs in Canada depend on trade with the U.S., and
WHEREAS, Canadians made approximately 44.4 million visits to the United States in 2012, spending $16.6 billion; and
WHEREAS, Americans made 19.6 million visits to Canada in 2012, spending $6.6 billion; and
WHEREAS, President Obama and Prime Minister Harper issued joint action plans in December 2011 to boost security, trade and travel between our countries; and
WHEREAS, the current bridge between Detroit, Michigan and Windsor, Ontario, is 84 years old and carries one-fourth of all U.S.-Canada trade, consisting of 20,000 vehicles and approximately $420 million in value daily; and
WHEREAS, the New International Trade Crossing (NITC) will have an enormous impact on the Canadian and U.S. economies, creating 10,000 to 15,000 construction jobs in Michigan and Ontario and thousands of indirect jobs throughout the region; and
WHEREAS, the state of Michigan and Transport Canada have signed an agreement whereby the private sector, pursuant to a public-private partnership, will finance and build the NITC. The partnership will maximize private-sector participation and financing by allowing for public ownership of the bridge and private financing, construction, operation and maintenance of the bridge while protecting the public interest; and
WHEREAS, in November 2012, by a 60-40 margin, Michigan voters defeated Proposal 6 – which sought to amend Michigan’s Constitution to make the construction of any new links to Canada almost impossible; and
WHEREAS, state legislatures in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Alabama have all passed resolutions urging construction of the NITC, and Ontario, a CSG member province, has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in the approach to the NITC; and
WHEREAS, in April 2013, the U.S. government issued a presidential permit allowing for land acquisition and construction of the NITC to proceed.
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that The Council of State Governments recognizes that the NITC is vital to ensuring the ongoing viability of existing trade between the United States and Canada and will lay the foundation for future productivity, growth and economic stability of local economies across the Midwest; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the CSG fully supports the NITC project and urges the U.S. government to proceed with the construction of the U.S. Customs Plaza, so that work can commence on the project; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this resolution be submitted to appropriate state, federal and provincial officials.
Adopted this 22nd Day of September, 2013 at CSG’s 2013 National Conference in Kansas City, Missouri.