Have you ever listened to someone and thought, “Wow, he/she knows his/her stuff!” The audience at April’s TBOWIT luncheon thought this of presenter Andrew McIntosh, Co-founder of Cross Border Partners Advisory Services and Partner at Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick. Mr. McIntosh being Canadian and working on Canadian projects keeps abreast of all things Canadian even spending time with the Canadian ambassador to the U.S.
True or False:
Canada is the United States’ largest trading partner?
Canada and the United States have the largest unprotected border?
Canada and the United States have the most integrated relationship in the world?
Here are some fun facts:
$1.4 trillion (US) trade relationship
600k jobs in Florida depend heavily on Canada trade
35 U.S. states say that Canada is their biggest trading partner
$50 billion (US) in real estate is owned in the U.S. by Canadians
There are over 70 Canadian military officers in Florida alone
The U.S. and Canada are strong allies joining forces on war efforts, drug trade, humanitarian aid, and more!
2/3 of Florida strawberries start off as baby plants in Canadian greenhouses.
Mr. McIntosh had more examples of the shared values and integrated systems, but it’s too much to write here. Having such close ties between these two great countries, how does the Canadian government and Canadian people view the first hundred days of the Trump administration? According to Mr. McIntosh there are three areas of concern: NAFTA, border tax adjustment, the buy American policy.
NAFTA does need updating since it’s 20 years old and Mr. McIntosh is relieved to hear that President Trump said just the day before that he looks forward to re-negotiating the deal. On border tax, Mr. McIntosh repeated what the CEO of FedEx said which was in paraphrase – this would create a trade war instantly. He followed up by saying that a border adjustment tax is really a tariff in disguise which isn’t needed since, as he gave quite the number of examples, the playing field between Canada and the U.S. is very fair. As far as the ‘buy American policy’ which is also termed a domestic content mandate, Mr. McIntosh would not want to see this play out as it creates an artificial world. Not only does it create an artificial world, but it harms established vendor/supplier relationships that are working really well. A program of this nature also leads to more red tape and high costs as an administration has to designate people to monitor business deals. Canada doesn’t have a ‘buy Canada’ program.
Mr. McIntosh hopes that President Trump succeeds as the relationship between the two countries is so strong and so integrated. Mr. McIntosh is impressed by the cabinet that the President picked saying that the people chosen are strong leaders. Mr. McIntosh sees a role that Canada can play in President Trump’s plan to improve U.S. infrastructure. Canada is very good at public/private partnerships.
No matter what the future holds for Canada/U.S. relations, we are better for hearing Mr. McIntosh’s insights and point of view. Mr. McIntosh fielded many questions from the audience and had more to say, but you’ll have to come to a future TBOWIT meeting to touch base with him. As a 2017 speaker, the TBOWIT Board gave Mr. McIntosh a membership to the organization. Now we can boast of one more subject matter expert among our numbers.