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4/28/2017   - North Country Day in Washington


     The North Country Chamber of Commerce is leading a group through a series of meetings in Washington, May 3-4.

     "We are visible in Washington throughout the year," states Chamber President Garry Douglas, "including visits either centered on single issues or projects or, as in this trip, a delegation centered on a core theme but also with some additional timely agenda matters."

     The Chamber delegation, led by Douglas, will include Canadian Consul General Phyllis Yaffe; Michael Novak, Chair of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce of Quebec; Patrick Hyndman of the Quebec Government; Norsk Titanium CEO Warren Boley; Bombardier Transportation; Nova Bus; St. Joseph's Addiction Treatment and Recovery Centers; and EDPR, developers of Jericho Rise and other wind farms in the North Country. The two day visit will include meetings with Senator Charles Schumer, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, House Members Elise Stefanik and John Faso, and Governor Cuomo's Washington staff, among others.

     A key agenda item will be the singular importance of the U.S.-Canadian economic partnership to the North Country and the need to differentiate the U.S.-Canada relationship from other trade ties due to the high degree of economic integration. "Showing the cross border partnership by joining together as a team helps to tell the story in a compelling way," notes Douglas.

     Other discussion topics will include the following:

·         The initiation of an exploration of potential future defense related applications for Norsk Titanium's new production technology now being deployed in Plattsburgh.

·         Future funding for mass transit which is essential to contract opportunities for Bombardier, Nova Bus and other North Country companies involved in transportation equipment.

·         Continued development of Plattsburgh International Airport, including support for targeted outreach to potential airlines and Congressional continuation of the Essential Air Service Program which supports hub service at Plattsburgh and other North Country airports.

·         Enhanced federal support for opiate addiction treatment and recovery in the North Country.

·         Continued federal support for wind farm development in the North Country.

·         Future pathways for support for the Olympic sports facilities in and around Lake Placid, possibly   as part of an upcoming Infrastructure Bill.

     "Our Washington visits and meetings have long had a reputation for clear messages and goals, and have been part of an effective approach for the North Country designed to help punch above our traditional weight," states Douglas. "We look forward to some good discussions and to returning with a clear sense of next steps on several key agenda items."

     Douglas also reports that he will be going to Ottawa on behalf of the Chamber the following week for meetings with a number of key officials and partners connected to the U.S.-Canada relationship and shared border. 


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