Arizona’s Republican Governor is touring Canada urging corporate leaders to ignore the anti-trade rhetoric that is dominating the U.S. presidential campaign and keep investing in U.S. expansion.
Governor Doug Ducey, who was in Toronto on Tuesday pitching Arizona to a business audience in Toronto, proudly pointed out that 350 Canadian companies do business in his state, and made it clear that more business would be welcome. Mr. Ducey outlined steps to increase trade between Canada, Mexico and the United States and pointedly distanced himself from anti-trade comments made by Republican nominee Donald Trump and, to a lesser extent,
Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
Mr. Ducey said there are expansion opportunities in Arizona for Canadian aerospace, healthcare and financial companies, and said he is meeting this week with executives at Bombardier Inc. in Montreal. Bombardier currently produces aircraft parts in Tucson and is a major employer in the state. He said Arizona is an ideal location for Canadian companies targeting the Mexican and California markets, and said his government is doing all it can to keep the border with Mexico safe and easily accessible for business and tourist travel.
Mr. Ducey won office by running as a pro-business politician. He co-founded the Cold Stone Creamery chain in 1988 and opened more than 1,400 outlets before leaving the company in 2007 to enter politics.
When pressed to forecast how Americans will vote in November’s election, Mr. Ducey said he is backing Republican candidates in what he called a “unique campaign season,” and went out of his way to praise the leadership of Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.
But he deftly avoided mentioning either party’s presidential candidate by name during a luncheon speech to the Canadian Club in Toronto. Speaking a block from the Trump
International Hotel in downtown Toronto, Mr. Ducey did joke that the Republican candidate must believe in strong relations with Canada, because “he has his name on a big building just down the street,” and that Ms. Clinton has reason to back the North American free-trade agreement (NAFTA), as her husband signed the agreement.
Asked to predict who would become the next U.S. president, Mr. Ducey sidestepped the question by saying he rarely gets national political picks right, but added: “The second and third presidential debates matter. This [election] is not over.”
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