Missouri has signed a memorandum of understanding to boost trade with Quebec.
Speaking to reporters from Toronto on Wednesday, Gov. Jay Nixon said Missouri and Quebec signed an agreement to boost trade over the next four years by 15 percent. The agreement, according to a press release from Nixon’s office, was signed by Québec Minister of Industrial Policy Élaine Zakaïb and Missouri director of Economic Development Mike Downing.
The memorandum, Nixon said, means that Missouri will export around $3.2 billion in goods and services to the Canadian province. And he specifically says the agreement will benefit Missouri’s agricultural, manufacturing and life sciences industries.
“Our strategy in engaging with governments on a subnational and provincial level continues to pay real dividends by unlocking opportunities for Missouri products and the outstanding businesses and partners that make them,” said Nixon in a conference call. “This is a very promising start to what continues to be a very productive mission.”
Nixon said Canada is Missouri’s biggest export market, adding that the country purchased around $4 billion in Missouri goods last year. He went on to say that the provinces of Ontario and Quebec are big consumers of Missouri goods.
Nixon has spent the past few days in Canada on a trade mission. After Quebec, Nixon said the Missouri delegation traveled to Ottawa, the Canadian capital. That's where he addressed business leaders at the American Chamber of Commerce and met with Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird.
Nixon will spend the rest of his trip in Toronto. He's meeting on Wednesday with leaders of Canadian businesses, such Magna International and BMO Financial. And on Thursday, Nixon will meet with Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and Ontario Minister of Economic Development and Trade Eric Hoskins.
Nixon praised “the warm reception we’ve received throughout our visit" from "this country with whom we share the world’s longest international border (and) incredibly strong historic, economic, cultural and military ties.”
While in Canada, Nixon threw his support behind the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline. In a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, Nixon said the pipeline "will strengthen our economy, create jobs, and promote North American energy independence."
That project – which would stretch from Alberta, Canada, to Steele City, Neb. – is opposed by many environmentalists in America. President Barack Obama has yet to give the OK to build the project.