Windsor Border Expert Says StatsCan Confirms Windsor-Detroit Importance

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The head of the Cross Border Institute at the University of Windsor says the latest figures from Statistics Canada show just how important the Windsor-Detroit corridor is.

Compared with international trade figures, Michigan would be Canada's second-largest trading partner ahead of China and behind the US.

In 2016, exports to Michigan totalled $66 billion, representing 16.8% of all exports to the United States. More than half of these exports consisted of motor vehicles.

CBI Director, Dr. Bill Anderson, says that explains why the Ambassador Bridge is the busiest crossing.

"It's really because of the auto industry that this is the number one crossing," says Anderson. "There's a lot of other stuff that crosses besides automotive, but it's that big focus on automotive that really explains why there's such a huge volume of trade across the Detroit River."

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University of Windsor Cross Border Institute Director Dr. Bill Anderson (photo courtesy University of Windsor)

Anderson says this region is the major gateway for much of what comes from the US.

"the trade between the US and Canada is very focused around these Great Lakes crossings," says Anderson. "Half of the trade between the US and Canada, if you take the imports and exports together involves Ontario."

Anderson adds the concentration of the auto and auto parts industry is a major factor. He says the automotive industry is huge for trade, not just because of its size but because of the integration across the border.