US PRESIDENT NEWS: Surrey Board of Trade Statement on a New US President

Today marks the inauguration of new US President – Joe Biden as well as US Vice-President Kamala Harris. Congratulations to both of them and to their administration.

This is important to Surrey’s business community because Surrey:

1. Is a border city;
2. Has the greatest number of manufacturers in BC that ship goods locally and internationally;
3. Is an agricultural and health/technology innovator; and
4. Is part of the Cascadia economic innovation corridor that will spur innovation and jobs as we move through and beyond the pandemic.

Innovation is fundamentally about making things better in ways to add value, save time, or save money. Innovation is not always based on technology. Any idea can be transformed into a simple solution that results in new products or services. Innovations can create entirely new jobs, markets and industries that never existed before. And they can give existing industries a new lease on life by making them more productive and efficient. But now, Canada stands at a defining moment. We need a comprehensive approach to create jobs to make our lives better.

Renewed Canadian business collaboration with our US Chamber of Commerce and organization partners will hopefully create innovation and jobs as we move forward. There are many policies that need to be addressed, including:

  1. Softwood lumber: Continued negotiations for this vital industry.
  2. Border: Ensuring the US gets COVID-19 under control before we open the US border to non-essential travel.
  3. Immigration: Canada’s birth rate continues to decline, and despite the pandemic there are and will be skill and worker shortages. There will be increased levels of competition for immigrants as Biden has plans to expand the number of high-skilled worker visas granted by the US.
  4. Trade: The Canada – United States relationship, the new CUSMA agreement, understanding how the Biden administration has plans to bring back critical supply chains so they’re not dependent on other nations during a crisis, and their promise to tighten domestic content rules, which may have implications for some closely-linked Canadian manufacturing sectors.
  5. Climate and energy: The US, somewhat similar to the Canadian government, will fast-track investments in green infrastructure to create jobs and has plans to stop the Keystone XL Pipeline.

There are many issues and policies to watch in the next four years between Canada and the US that will affect our daily lives and our economy. This matters to Surrey as we move to become the largest city in BC.