Ohio House unanimously backs proposal for NITC bridge to Canada

By John Gallagher
Detroit Free Press Business Writer

The Ohio House of Representatives has joined the list of supporters of the New International Trade Crossing, the proposed new bridge linking Detroit and Windsor.

Ohio state Rep. Terry Boose said that his colleagues unanimously passed his resolution this week urging support for the construction of the NITC project, an initiative proposed by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and Canadian officials.

“I sponsored this resolution because both Ohio and Michigan need more jobs,” Boose said. “By opening up more lanes of traffic across the Detroit River, our states can benefit from the existing commerce, as well as the new commerce that the increased commercial traffic flow the project will bring. I’m pleased that it has the support of the Ohio House.”

Boose’s House Resolution 198 was companion legislation to Senate Resolution 141, which was recently passed by the Ohio Senate.

“These resolutions constitute strong statements that reliable transportation capacity to and from Canada, going forward, is of vital importance to job creators and workers across the industrial heartland of the USA,” said Roy Norton, Canada’s consul general to Detroit.

New crossing would be a bridge to jobs in Ohio

The Advertiser-Tribune

By State Sen. Gayle Manning

In a previous column, I highlighted some of the policies and bills passed by the General Assembly this year that are helping to make Ohio a more competitive place for businesses to locate and create jobs. While our actions are having an impact all across the state, I also wanted to mention initiatives that are bringing new jobs and development to the communities within the 13th Senate District.

Shortly after being sworn into the Ohio Senate, I was made aware of a situation at Custom Culinary, a company that manufactures nonbeverage food products such as sauces and soups for commercial use and has a facility in Avon. Custom Culinary was at a competitive disadvantage with similar businesses in other states due to state regulations regarding the purchase of alcohol for their products – the company had to buy the wine or beer needed in the same small containers sold to the public rather than in bulk. As a result, each container had to be opened individually, increasing the ingredient and labor costs for Custom Culinary’s products.

After meeting with officials from Custom Culinary as well as representatives from the Ohio Department of Commerce, I introduced legislation – now law – that provided a common-sense solution to this issue by permitting manufacturers such as Custom Culinary to purchase the alcohol needed for their products wholesale in bulk rather than in individual containers. I am pleased to say Custom Culinary recently announced plans to expand its operations in Avon and add jobs, a move that likely would have been delayed were it not for the change in state law.

The new tax incentives my colleagues and I approved earlier this year also are showing results, with several major employers revealing plans to create or retain jobs here in Ohio instead of in other states. Republic Steel announced recently it is expanding its steel-making operations in Lorain, a move that is expected to create more than 400 jobs and retain nearly 500 others. Also, Ford has committed to moving its medium truck and frame assembly to northeastern Ohio from Mexico, a deal which is to preserve hundreds of jobs and ensure operations at Ford’s plant in Avon Lake continue for years to come.

We also are working to support the export of Ohio goods to other markets, such as Canada. I have introduced a resolution in the Ohio Senate that urges support for the construction of the New International Trade Crossing linking the U.S. and Canada. Canada is Ohio’s top export market, with more than 300,000 jobs in Ohio supported by trade between the two countries. Construction of the bridge could potentially create 10,000 construction jobs and more than 25,000 indirect jobs during the construction period in the United States.

While these policies all hold tremendous potential for bringing prosperity back to our state, we must continue to look for new and innovative ways to improve our state. As we begin a new year, I remain committed to working toward solutions to the challenges we face and making Ohio a great place to live, work and raise a family.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder Has New Ally In Fight For International Bridge

Changing Gears

By Pete Bigelow

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has an unlikely ally in his push to build a new international bridge between Detroit and Canada — the Buckeye State.

Ohio state senators say their state needs the bridge as much as Michigan.

They have introduced a senate resolution encouraging their northern neighbors to build a replacement for the 83-year-old Ambassador Bridge. Ohio Senate Resolution 141 states that bilateral trade with Canada generated $30.9 billion in 2010, and said Canada was the top market for Buckeye State exports.

“A modern border crossing that can support the ever-increasing amount of trade and travel between the U.S. and Canada is essential to the economies of Ohio, the Midwest and the U.S.,” says SR141, which was introduced by Republican Sen. Gayle Manning.

In Michigan, Snyder has been spurned by fellow Republicans in his attempts to build the bridge. They recently shelved two bills that would allow for the creation of an authority which would solicit bids for the project. Canada has volunteered to contribute $550 million toward the bridge.

Matty Moroun, owner of the private Ambassador Bridge, has fiercely lobbied against the project. On Monday, Snyder said he may try to circumvent the Michigan state legislature, a strategy that could test the limits of his executive power.

Ohio to Michigan: Please build a new bridge to Canada

Michigan Radio

By Tracy Samilton

The Ohio state Senate has approved a resolution supporting a new international bridge between Detroit and Windsor.

The senators say Ohio needs that bridge as much as Michigan does.

Ohio senators say their state does $31 billion worth of bilateral trade with Canada every year – trade that supports hundreds of thousands of jobs in Ohio.

The bi-partisan resolution says trade and travel between Ohio and Canada will only increase in the future, and a modern border crossing is essential to support it.  The resolution notes the age of the existing Ambassador Bridge, at 83 years.

Owners of the Ambassador Bridge have lobbied fiercely to block a new bridge, and Republicans in the Michigan legislature recently shelved bills to start a public-private partnership with Canada, despite Governor Snyder’s strong support for the bills.

Governor Snyder says he still hopes to win the legislature’s support for the project, which will cost the state nothing, because Canada and Ontario have offered to pay the state’s $550 million share of the cost.

 

Ohio and DRIC

The Windsor Star

Ohio senators have joined the growing list of DRIC supporters, voting last week to endorse the public-private partnership plan to build a second bridge across the Detroit River.

They also acknowledged how important the relationship is between the two countries, with $30.9 billion in bilateral trade moving between Ohio and Canada last year. That, said the senators, supported 300,000 jobs.

Clearly senators in the Buckeye State get it. The puzzlement is why legislators in Michigan do not. Or, more to the point, why many have allowed themselves to become so beholden to Ambassador Bridge owner Matty Moroun that they would put their state in economic peril.

The Ohio senate is sending copies of its two-page resolution to Michigan politicians, including Gov. Rick Snyder.

Hopefully Snyder will use this declaration to full advantage, sharing the information with Michigan voters. It’s time citizens there heard the real story of how elected leaders who support Moroun in his bid to quash the deal – and who accept his campaign contributions – are denying citizens the chance to receive desperately needed infrastructure money. The people need to know.

Republican lead Ohio State Senate endorses NITC Bridge

RESOLUTION

To support the construction of the New International Trade Crossing between the United States and Canada.

BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF OHIO:

WHEREAS, Canada is the largest foreign trade partner for the United States and the largest export destination for 35 states; and

WHEREAS, Canada is Ohio’s top export market; and

WHEREAS, Ohio’s bilateral trade with Canada for the year 2010 was $30.9 billion; and

WHEREAS, An estimated 301,100 jobs in Ohio are supported by United States-Canada trade; and

WHEREAS, Canadians made more than 544,100 visits to Ohio during 2010, spending more than $137 million; and

WHEREAS, The current bridge between Detroit and Windsor is 83 years old and carries one-forth of all United States-Canada trade, consisting of 20,000 vehicles and approximately $350 million in value daily; and

WHEREAS, Eight million jobs in the United States depend on United States-Canada trade, and therefore 2 million Americans rely for their livelihood on that 83-year old bridge between Detroit and Windsor; and

WHEREAS, Plans are underway to build an additional international border crossing system over the Detroit River, known as the New International Trade Crossing, consisting of a six-lane bridge with three lanes bound for the United States and three lanes bound for Canada, connected to new United States and Canadian inspection plazas; and

WHEREAS, The New International Trade Crossing will have an enormous economic impact on the U.S. economy, creating 10,000 construction jobs and more than 25,000 indirect jobs during the construction period in the United States; and

WHEREAS, The State of Michigan and Transport Canada are pursuing a public-private partnership to finance and deliver the New International Trade Crossing; and

WHEREAS, The partnership will be in the form of a long-term concession agreement that will seek to maximize private sector participation and financing by allowing for public ownership of the bridge and private financing, construction, operation, and maintenance of the bridge while protecting the public interest; and

WHEREAS, The State of Michigan needs legislative authority to enter into the public-private partnership and to enter into an agreement with Canada to build the New International Trade Crossing; and

WHEREAS, A modern border crossing that can support the ever-increasing amount of trade and travel between the United States and Canada is essential to the economies of Ohio, the Midwest, and the United States; now therefore be it

RESOLVED, That members of the Ohio Senate o hereby fully support the New International Trade Crossing project and any legislation that will allow for its construction and creation of a public-private partnership to finance and deliver the new border crossing; and be it further

RESOLVED, That members of the Ohio Senate encourage initiatives that bring investments in communities hosting the New International Trade Crossing project and the entire multistate region, including job creation, environmental improvement, increased trade, and other benefits that improve the quality of life of residents; and be it further

RESOLVED, That members of the Ohio Senate recognize that the New International Trade Crossing will have an immeasurable economic impact on the State of Ohio and will lay foundation for future productivity, growth, and economic stability of local economies within Ohio; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the Clerk of the Senate transmit duly authenticated copies of this resolution to the President of the Michigan Senate, the Minority Leader of the Michigan Senate, the Speaker of the Michigan House of Representatives, the Minority Leader of the Michigan House of Representatives, the Governor of Michigan, and the Consul General of Canada in Detroit, Michigan.

Click here to read the full resolution passed by the Ohio Senate.

Ohio Senate to Michigan Senate Regarding DRIC

Michigan House Bill 4961

June 1, 2010

Chairman Gilbert, Members of the Michigan Transportation Committee, I am writing in support of House Bill 4961 which would allow Michigan to enter into a public-private agreement and further allow them to begin construction on the Detroit River International Crossing (DRIC) between the United States and Canada.

The importance of Canada’s relationship with the US and nearly every state including Ohio is critical.  One can speak of culture or tourism or the value of a friendly border neighbor, but the real driver of the relationship is commerce and trade. Canada is the largest foreign trade partner for the United States. In addition, Canada is Ohio’s top export markets with bilateral trade amounting to $35.8 billion for 2008. An estimated 267,500 jobs in Ohio are supported by United States-Canada Trade and Canadians made more than 605,300 visits to Ohio during 2008 spending more that $138 million.

A critical tool in this Ohio/ Canadian trade exchange is the international boarder crossing at Detroit/Windsor.  Between the existing tunnel and the Ambassador Bridge, this crossing is the busiest international border crossing in the world.  The present bridge was built in 1929 and in recent years has been a point of delay especially for trucks crossing the bridge.  These delays have curtailed commerce and have made goods on both sides of the border less attractive to companies of the other side.

Approximately 54% of United States-Canada trade moves by truck and about half of the truck use the Detroit and Port Huron Border Crossings. These statistics not only show the important trade relationship between Ohio and Canada, but also the importance of the new Detroit River International Crossing.

The Ohio Senate recently passed Senate Resolution 223 to support the construction of the new Detroit River International Crossing between the United States and Canada.

As the resolution states, “Plans are underway to build an additional border crossing system over the Detroit River, known as the Detroit River International Crossing.” Since the State of Michigan needs legislative authority to enter into a public-private partnership and enter into an agreement with Canada to build this border crossing, Senate Resolution 223 urges the Michigan Legislature to act swiftly to authorize the DRIC and assure that the United States can continue to efficiently and safely move people and goods across our border.

As a member of the US-Canada Relations Committee for Midwest CSG, I have had the opportunity over the past several months to travel to several regions of Canada and discuss new ways for leaders in the Midwest states and Canada to join together to create jobs, attract business investment and grow our local economies. Construction of the DRIC is critical to this effort.

Thank you for allowing me to offer proponent testimony for Michigan House Bill 4961.

Steve Buehrer

Ohio State Senator

1st District