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Alberta Premier Kenney Attends National Governors Meeting in Washington, DC

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney travelled to Washington, DC to attend a meeting of U.S. Governors from January 29 to 31. Prior to his departure Premier Kenney said, "Attending the National Governors Association meeting is an excellent opportunity to discuss key issues with American leaders. I will be there to discuss growing supply chain problems, including the U.S. and Canadian governments' policies that have impacted many cross-border truckers, causing further damage to supply chains and higher prices for consumers. I will also continue to advocate for access to the U.S. market for our energy exports, including Line 5. Finally, I will be raising our concerns about growing U.S. protectionism, including the 'Buy American' initiative and softwood lumber tariffs. It's critical for Alberta's economy that we strongly advocate for our key interests with top American decision makers."

Kenney had hoped to meet with Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer to discuss her opposition to keeping open the Enbridge Line 5 oil pipeline. Not long ago Kenney publicly called Whitmer "brain dead" for wanting to shut down the 60-year-old pipeline from Alberta to Michigan. Line 5 travels under the Straits of Mackinac which connects Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. Reports say Whitmer refused to meet with Kenney during the Governors' conference.

Premier Kenney left Washington on January 31. No Alberta government press release or twitter announcement regarding results of the trip was issued in the usual manner.

The Alberta government did publish the following "quick facts:"

- The U.S. is Alberta's largest trading partner, and Alberta is the second-largest provincial exporter to the U.S.

- In 2020, Alberta's exports to the U.S. totalled $77.5 billion and accounted for approximately 85 per cent of total provincial exports.

- Energy products accounted for approximately $59.2 billion, 76 per cent of Alberta's exports to the U.S. in 2020.

- Bilateral trade supports nearly 1.7 million jobs. Trade with Alberta supports 906,000 jobs in the U.S. while trade with the U.S. supports 785,000 jobs in Alberta.

The Government of Alberta recently announced that it is opening three new trade and investment offices in the United States -- in Chicago, Denver and Seattle -- while expanding its office in Washington, DC.

This article was published in

Volume 52 Number 2 - February 6, 2022

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