Montpelier, Vt. – Governor Phil Scott headed a trade mission to Montreal this week, marking his fourth trip to Québec in 22 months as Governor. The Governor was accompanied by members of his cabinet, including Commerce Secretary Michael Schirling, Agriculture Secretary Anson Tebbetts and Economic Development Commissioner Joan Goldstein.
Scott met with the newly-elected Premier of Québec François Legault in the Premier’s first meeting with a U.S. governor. The leaders discussed opportunities to expand international business and trade ties between Vermont and Québec in areas such as renewable energy, aerospace technology, tourism and transportation. Scott and Schirling also met with the province’s new Economy and Innovation Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon and the U.S. Consul General Robert Thomas.
“Québec and Vermont are not only attached physically but also by our deep family connections and commitment to one another,” Scott said in an address to the Federation of Québec Chambers of Commerce. “Québec is Vermont’s largest international trading partner and we are Québec’s second largest economic partner in New England.”
Gov. Scott noted that Vermont’s proximity to Québec, responsive state representatives and skilled workforce have allowed many Canadian businesses to expand to Vermont.
“Over the last two years, my Administration has met with many of your ministers and numerous businesses to help strengthen relationships and find opportunities to grow each of our economies,” Scott continued. “Last year, bilateral exchanges between Québec and Vermont represented almost $4 billion USD. That’s why, as Governor, I’ve worked to make a good relationship with Canada even better and stronger as part of our efforts to grow our economy.”
The Governor emphasized the importance of maintaining and strengthening trade relations between Vermont and Québec, highlighting the benefits of free trade and civility for both economies.
“The strength of our relationships, our commitment to shared priorities and our history of collaboration will lead to more prosperity for the entire northeast region.”
A group of Vermont businesses also joined the Governor, seeking to extend their international footprints to Canada, including Liquid Measurement Systems of Georgia, Darn Tough of Northfield, Ogee of Burlington, Caledonia Spirits of Hardwick, Northern Reliability of Waterbury and Manufacturing Solutions Incorporated of Morrisville.
These businesses discussed mutual trade, distribution of goods and supply chains with Canadian companies, customs agents and federal and provincial representatives at a reception hosted by the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development.