Canada’s Innovation Minister and U.S. Commerce Secretary identify new areas for collaboration

The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, held a meeting with U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

The objective of this meeting, which follows their first encounter in May, was to identify several areas in which emerging technologies could provide new opportunities for bilateral cooperation between Canada and the United States.

The goal is to ensure that both Canadians and Americans have the skills and opportunities to benefit from new industries that emerge. These new industries have the potential to create thousands of well-paying, middle-class jobs on both sides of the border.

The following statement summarizes their discussion:

Minister Bains and Secretary Ross discussed ways in which Canada and the U.S. can work together to ensure that North America remains a world leader in the development and adoption of connected and autonomous vehicles.

The Minister pointed to a number of Canadian firms and research teams that are world leaders in developing the enabling technologies for self-driving cars. When leveraged through cross-border collaboration, this expertise can accelerate innovation, create thousands of jobs and generate new business opportunities that benefit Canadians and Americans alike, especially those who work in the world’s second-largest automotive cluster located in the Great Lakes region.

Minister Bains also identified rare earth elements as another area of opportunity for bilateral cooperation. Rare earth elements are the raw materials that have become essential in manufacturing digital devices, from smartphones to tablet computers, kitchen appliances, cars, jets, even the circuits that control computer networks.

As digital devices have become basic tools of the economy and everyday life, Canada and the U.S. have an opportunity to work together to ensure that both countries continue to have access to a secure and predictable supply of rare earth elements for North America’s manufacturing sector, which is a key engine of job creation.

Additionally, Minister Bains emphasized to Secretary Ross the importance of the balanced and integrated production of steel between Canada and the United States. Any disruption in the cross-border steel trade would hurt citizens and companies in both countries.

Minister Bains assured Secretary Ross that Canada will continue to work with the U.S. to address the excess capacity of steel on the global market and enforce any measures on dumped or subsidized imports from offshore. As an ally of the U.S. in NORAD and NATO, Canada takes the position that it is inappropriate to view the cross-border steel trade through the lens of national security. Canada is a reliable and trusted supplier of goods and equipment to the U.S.

Furthermore, Minister Bains reminded Secretary Ross that the Government of Canada strongly disagrees with the petition filed by Boeing Aerospace Corporation with the U.S. Department of Commerce. The petition alleges the dumping in the U.S. market of aircraft manufactured by Canada’s Bombardier Inc. Minister Bains told Secretary Ross that he will continue to vigorously defend the interests of Canada’s aerospace industry as well as jobs on both sides of the border.