TORONTO — Today Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario, and Larry Hogan, Governor of Maryland, finalized a new, historic strategic investment and procurement agreement (SIPA) that will increase trade, attract investment, and encourage job creation in both jurisdictions. Areas of focus will be advanced manufacturing, infrastructure and the agri-food sector.
The agreement was signed today by Premier Ford and Governor Hogan during a virtual ceremony and roundtable hosted by the Canadian American Business Council and the Wilson Center. The leaders were joined by Vic Fedeli, Ontario's Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade and Kelly M. Schulz, Maryland's Secretary of Commerce.
"This historic agreement provides us with a tremendous opportunity to leverage our strong trade ties to accelerate the mutual recovery of our two economies," said Premier Ford. "Whether it's securing our PPE or auto sector supply chains, this partnership can help us both overcome our current challenges, create jobs, and help businesses on both sides of the border grow and prosper."
The new Ontario-Maryland SIPA, also known as the Ontario-Maryland Sub-National Agreement, promotes economic cooperation by providing access to information, facilitating business delegations, or connecting businesses with prospective clients or investors. Ontario and Maryland have also agreed to work collaboratively to help mitigate the impacts of unforeseeable events, such as natural disasters or public health emergencies, which includes sharing best practices to support ongoing responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ontario and Maryland have agreed to track the agreement's effectiveness against key performance metrics, such as total two-way trade, total foreign direct investment, and the total number of Ontario-Maryland foreign direct investment projects.
"Today's agreement will strengthen an already vibrant relationship between Maryland and Ontario by fostering economic growth and workforce development, enhancing cooperation, attracting investment, and reducing trade barriers," said Governor Hogan. "I'm confident that this renewed and expanded partnership will be mutually beneficial to both of our regions' ongoing economic recoveries, and we look forward to continuing to promote this incredible partnership with the people of Ontario for many years to come."
The agreement also creates a Procurement Cooperation Council, improving transparency and engagement on government purchasing for businesses based in Ontario and Maryland. The council will further allow Ontario and Maryland to maintain an open dialogue about any existing and future rules related to public procurement. In 2018, Maryland's state-level government spending was USD $36.7 billion (15th out of 50 U.S. states).
"This Strategic Investment and Procurement Agreement is part of a broader strategy to expand the reach of Ontario's innovative businesses throughout the United States and the world," said Minister Fedeli. "By developing this formal partnership with Maryland we will create the conditions necessary to secure much-needed certainty for businesses so they can continue to create jobs well into the future."
In 2019, goods trade between Ontario and Maryland was worth CAD$2.3 billion. This new agreement between Ontario and Maryland is a platform on which to build on the relationship that has been developed over decades of engagement across the U.S.-Canada border.
"Ontario has been an outstanding trading partner for Maryland, and this historic agreement will strengthen both economies by boosting foreign direct investment and giving our respective companies even greater opportunities to partner," said Secretary Schulz. "Maryland and Ontario share many strengths, and it is more important than ever that we work together to address our global challenges."
The SIPA with Maryland is the first to come out of the Ontario government's strategy for trade with the U.S. As part of the strategy, Ontario is pursuing additional agreements with other U.S. states, which seek to secure improved access to investment and government procurement opportunities in the U.S. for Ontario businesses.
- In 2019, Ontario was the top export destination for merchandise trade for 19 U.S. states, and ranked second for nine U.S. states.
- Nearly one in five jobs in Ontario depend on trade. With over 1.3 million jobs supported by exports, Ontario’s jobs are the most export-reliant across Canada.
"This agreement is proof that when tenacity is combined with personal rapport, great things can happen. We are delighted that Premier Ford and Governor Hogan have launched an innovative framework which will help accelerate the North American economic recovery, and provide an avenue for businesses to have problems solved on a real-time basis. This partnership between Ontario and Maryland is example of leadership that stands up against protectionism, something that is now more important than ever."
- Maryscott Greenwood
CEO, Canadian American Business Council
"As the indispensable partner of business, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce is proud to support the Ontario-Maryland Sub-National Agreement. With trade between Ontario and Maryland totaling over $2.3 billion, Ontario and Maryland share a substantive relationship contributing to the economic growth and prosperity of both our regions. Today’s agreement underscores the importance and deepens the trading relationship Ontario has with - our most important partner - the United States."
- Rocco Rossi
CEO, Ontario Chamber of Commerce