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Regional Chambers of Commerce host U.S. Ambassador to Canada

U.S. Ambassador to Canada David Cohen
U.S. Embassy - Canada
U.S. Ambassador to Canada David Cohen

The North Country and Quebec Federation of Chambers of Commerce held a joint virtual webinar on Tuesday to hear from the U.S. Ambassador to Canada.

The chambers’ webinar titled “Towards a New Era in Canada-US Relations” welcomed David Cohen as the speaker. He was appointed by President Joe Biden to serve as US Ambassador to Canada and received unanimous confirmation by the Senate in November 2021. He previously was a senior advisor to the CEO of Comcast.

North Country Chamber President Garry Douglas met Ambassador Cohen in-person in Montreal in April and said he is looking forward to the new ambassador’s approach to the bi-national relationship.

“I have very quickly come to have great respect for the command that Ambassador Cohen is bringing to his position and particularly the approach and culture that he’s bringing to his position. He’s clearly not just in his position to represent but to facilitate, encourage and to broaden and deepen the U.S.- Canadian relationship. Which is what we’re about and we look forward to working with him to do exactly that.”

Ambassador Cohen calls his appointment the honor of a lifetime.

“I often say our partnership is unlike any other in the world. It’s not just about trade or tourism, although both of those are important. It’s about friendships and families that bridge the border. And our relationship is not just between governments in Ottawa and Washington or even Quebec City and Albany. It’s between communities and neighbors. And these more personal ties have enabled us to maintain a strong relationship even in tough times.”

Cohen discussed concepts outlined in the Roadmap for A Renewed U.S. Canada Partnership, released following President Biden’s first bilateral meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in February 2021.

“It’s not just about prosperity or security or shared values. And it’s not just strategy. There are a large number of very tactical elements to the Roadmap. The Roadmap is organized around six pillars: combatting COVID-19, building back better from the pandemic very importantly in an equitable fashion, accelerating our climate ambitions, advancing diversity and inclusion, bolstering security and defense and finally building global alliances.”

Written questions submitted via Zoom ranged from a softwood lumber trade dispute to the Buy American Act. One fielded by the Chamber leaders asked Ambassador Cohen which industry sectors he believes will most strengthen bi-national cooperation.

“We’ve talked about transportation and aerospace. We’ve also talked about clean electricity production and critical minerals. And I think those are the four biggest opportunities between Quebec and the United States. I think the most untapped of the group is critical minerals.”

The seminar is part of a series of programs the North Country and Quebec Chambers have presented on cross border issues.

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