VIDEO: Report Emphasizes Unique Place For Windsor-Essex In NAFTA Talks

Five local recommendations for NAFTA negotiations were released as part of a report from Workforce Windsor-Essex Thursday.

The organization conducted a survey in 2017 to get a better understanding what matters most for cross border trade in the region —  WFWE took that data and compiled five key recommendations with the help of local stakeholders.

Federal and provincial officials are being asked to recognize the importance and interdependence of Canada-US trade and automotive sector. The report also asks officials to protect existing mechanisms allowing labour to move freely through the border, increase cross-border training opportunities, and support the region's global economic competitiveness.

Talks are ongoing between Canada, Mexico, and the US, and Workforce Windsor's Justin Falconer tells AM800 News Windsor-Essex wanted to make sure its voice has been heard.

"As a front line community we see some of the issues a little bit differently, and although all those things are important and need to be dealt with, what we wanted to make sure we had a local perspective and we were giving a local lens to some of the things that we find unique about this regional economy," he says.

While many issues apply to all regions, Falconer tells AM800 News Windsor-Essex is unique.

"This part of Canada and the US has a huge automotive cluster, a huge cohort that's crossing the border every day," says Falconer. "There are unique things about this part of Canada and North America that are unlike any other. It's the busiest commercial border in the world."

Falconer says the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Cross-Border Institute, St. Clair College, and the Institute for Border Logistics and Security, as well as provincial and federal partners came together to form the Windsor-Essex NAFTA Working Group.

"They all helped with recommendations, we conducted a survey with 151 respondents, we had two consultations with the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs when he was in town," he says. "We relied on a lot of the expertise of the NAFTA Working Group Members."

Falconer says the reports have already been sent out to government and provincial officials — more copies will be sent out to municipal level officials following the official release.