Today, Representative Kathy Hochul (NY-26) joined a roundtable discussion on cross-border commerce hosted by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. Participants included Representative Brian Higgins, City of Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster, and regional stakeholders who discussed the Niagara Falls International Airport, border congestion, and the Canadian Consulate in Buffalo.
"I would like to thank Senator Gillibrand for holding this roundtable to discuss these critical regional issues. Here in Western New York, we are uniquely situated to have an extraordinary economic relationship with our Canadian neighbors. Canada is already our largest trading partner, and U.S.-Canadian trade currently accounts for 500,000 jobs in New York State alone. Today's roundtable underlines the importance of preserving the Canadian Consulate in Buffalo as it has served to facilitate the free flow of commerce and trade in the region. I will continue the fight to preserve the Consulate in Buffalo and work to further strengthen trade relationships with our Canadian neighbors," Rep. Hochul said.
"Between our natural resources, transportation infrastructure, and capable workforce, our region's potential for a stronger bi-national economy is promising. I'm pleased that Rep. Hochul, Rep. Higgins, and Senator Gillibrand are being proactive in looking for ways to use these assets to increase the economic impact of cross-border commerce in Western New York by helping sustain established businesses and also encouraging new ventures," said Sam Hoyt, Regional President of Empire State Development.
Approximately 30 percent of total U.S.-Canadian trade crosses in Western New York, totaling an estimated $70 billion in trade annually.
Last week, Rep. Hochul held a roundtable discussion with Niagara County wine industry leaders on ways to bolster the economy of the Niagara Region through the growth of the wine industry and wine-related tourism, including ways increase trade with Canada. Additionally, Rep. Hochul held a Small Business Export Forum last December with Western New York businesses.