PMA Bulletin - December 18, 2013

Prosperity and Security: Canada/US Relationship is Unique in World History

The War of 1812 was more than just a punctuation of our independence from England. The war led to the blossoming of an extraordinary economic and diplomatic relationship with Canada the world has never before witnessed.

“We are the model countries for the world,” said John F. Prato, Consulate General of Canada in New York. “You can’t have prosperity without security and we’ve had both for so many years. We’re leveraging the best of both countries to compete with the rest of the world. Imagine that we’re beating China and the other Asian countries with the cost and value of some of our products.”

Prato was in Harrisburg recently to open Canada’s 1812 Exhibit at the State Museum of Pennsylvania, recalling the history of the relationship between the two countries. That shared history has seen so much prosperity and so little trouble that many of us might make the unpardonable sin of underappreciating it.

Pennsylvania lies at the heart of the story. It starts with this remarkable fact: Canada is Pennsylvania’s number one customer. Other memorable statistics include:

  1. Canada is the most important export market for 38 US states – including Pennsylvania.
  2. Pennsylvania-Canada two-way trade totals more than $22 billion. That’s more than the next five countries combined.
  3. Over 315,000 jobs in the state depend on trade with Canada, and over 21,000 Pennsylvanians are employed by Canadian companies operating in the state.

“One of our member companies ships parts to Canada for finishing. The finished products are then shipped all over the world where they are competitive in cost and quality,” noted PMA Executive Director David N. Taylor. “This cooperation and prosperity between our counties will only continue to grow and benefit us both.”

In another example, a major Canadian natural gas supplier actually reversed one of its pipelines last year and Ontario began receiving Pennsylvania-produced Marcellus Shale natural gas. TransCanada spent $130-million to reverse and expand pipelines running from the Niagara Peninsula to Toronto. Last November, it began receiving nearly 400 million cubic feet per day of Pennsylvania product into Ontario.

Canada’s Globe and Mail reports that although some U.S. gas has found its way into Ontario for many years – from Oklahoma, Michigan, and elsewhere – central and eastern Canada have, since the 1950s, largely relied on Alberta energy.

“It’s the first time that this reservoir of gas has reached Canada,” said Karl Johannson, president of natural gas pipelines for TransCanada told the Globe and Mail. Now TransCanada has a second pipeline reversal in the works to bring even more Pennsylvania gas to our neighbors in the north.

Canadian companies are also investing directly in Pennsylvania’s energy industry, including Talisman Energy USA, one of the most successful natural gas producers in the commonwealth and in Ridgeline Energy Services Inc., operating in the wastewater industry.

“Trade drives prosperity in both countries. Our two economies have become so integrated, so seamless, that countless firms have developed internal production value chains that operate back and forth across the border, “ Prato said. “The border is crossed back and forth roughly half a million times every day.”

The 1812 exhibit will remain at the State Museum until December 29, 2013. For additional information on the US/Canada relationship click HERE