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Ottawa, April 24, 2017 – During a trade-promotion tour in the southern states, the Hon. Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, today met with South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster and Secretary of Commerce Robert M. Hitt III to discuss the successful trade relationship between Canada and the state.

“Hundreds of thousands of South Carolinians’ jobs depend on trade with Canada, but sometimes even they don’t know it,” said Mr. Beatty. “The livelihoods of entire families could be affected by protectionist measures and everyone could lose. That’s the message I came here to deliver.”

In 2016, bilateral trade between Canada and South Carolina was worth US $6.4 billion and accounted for 165,300 South Carolinian jobs. Over 750,000 Canadian tourists visited the state and contributed $335 million to the economy.

“When the rhetoric focuses on policies at the national level it’s easy to forget that there are towns and communities throughout this state that benefit greatly from doing business with Canada,” said Mr. Beatty. “Our country is the third largest export market for South Carolina, worth $3.5 billion a year. And Canadian companies employ thousands of South Carolinians. We share a friendship that is strong and mutually prosperous.”

“There is not a one size fits all approach. Not all trade is bad and not every relationship is broken,” said Mr. Beatty. “Canada and South Carolina have a relationship that works for both of us. We should continue to build on that, not tear it down.”

 “I’m grateful to Governor McMaster and Secretary Hitt for taking the time to have this important conversation,” concluded Mr. Beatty. “I hope that we can speak with a united and emphasize that that making it harder to do business with your closest friends is not putting you first.”

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The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is the vital connection between business and the federal government. It helps shape public policy and decision-making to the benefit of businesses, communities and families across Canada with a network of over 450 chambers of commerce and boards of trade, representing 200,000 businesses of all sizes in all sectors of the economy and in all regions. Follow us on Twitter @CdnChamberofCom.

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Contact:
G. Will Dubreuil
Director, Public Affairs and Media Relations
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce
613.797.1860
gdubreuil@chamber.ca