BCA Participates in U.S.-Canada Trade Conference

Business Council of Alabama President and CEO William J. Canary participated in the Alabama-Southeastern U.S.-Canadian Provinces trade summit this week in Mobile that featured Canadian Consul General Nadia Theodore of Atlanta and Alabama’s secretary of commerce.

“Trade between Alabama and Canada amounts to billions of dollars for the country and our state and that trade is essential for the economic well-being of both,” Canary said. “This conference is an important continuing link of the relationship between not only Alabama but the entire South.”

The SEUS-CP conference is the 11th annual gathering that highlights trade between Canada and southern states, which accounts for billions of dollars of trade.

Secretary of Commerce Greg Canfield spoke for the Alabama delegation of the positive force of Canadian investment in Alabama.

“I think it’s very important for us to take a moment to recognize the importance underlying the special relationship between Canada and the six states that make up the south U.S.” Canfield said. “The SEUS-CP relationship is a textbook example of how international trade can be mutually beneficial by creating jobs, generating opportunities and expanding prosperity.”

Reports of discord between President Trump and Canada over tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum to protect American workers came up in Alabama’s meeting.
Theodore said the current flap threatened a long-standing, mutually beneficial bond, al.com reported.

“We come together today at a very opportune time in our relationship, but at a very challenging time in the history of Canada-U.S. trade,” she said. “Canada and the United States have a successful economic and security partnership. At the national level, Canada is the single largest market for the United States. Five of the six states in this room have Canada as their number one export market. And each of these six states, by the way, has a trade surplus with Canada.”

She said that Alabama exports $2 billion in automobiles and more than $62 million in engines and turbines to Canada. And Canada’s exports of aluminum serve Mercedes, Hyundai, Toyota, Boeing, New Flyer and Magna, Theodore said.


All 435 congressional seats are up for election in November including in Alabama where the seven incumbents are seeking reelection.

In the Second District, incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Martha Roby of Montgomery faces former U.S. Rep. Bobby Bright in a July 17 runoff.

First District incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne of Fairhope and Third District incumbent U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Saks, did not have primary opposition. Fourth District incumbent U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt, R-Haleyville, Fifth District incumbent U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Huntsville, and District 6 incumbent U.S. Rep. Gary Palmer, R-Hoover, are their party nominees.

Seventh District incumbent U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Birmingham, had no primary opposition and has no Republican opponent. Unless there is an independent, third-party, or write-in candidate, she will be reelected in November.


The month of August in Washington, D.C., is hot and muggy and usually the House and Senate take their summer recess. But not this year, at least not the U.S. Senate. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said this week he is cancelling the August recess in order to pass appropriations and other bills and to make additional progress on the president’s nominees.

“Due to the historic obstruction by Senate Democrats of the president’s nominees, and the goal of passing appropriations bills prior to the end of the fiscal year, the August recess has been canceled,” McConnell said. “Senators should expect to remain in session in August to pass legislation, including appropriations bills, and to make additional progress on the president’s nominees.”

His office said senators should expect to have a week off in early August, allowing them to work in their respective states. Roll Call also reported on the issue.


In an opinion piece by the Wilson Center, by 2026 as many as 1.4 million workers may lose their jobs due to new technologies that workers in North America are unprepared for.

Earl Anthony Wayne, a public policy fellow at the Wilson Center and a former U.S. Ambassador to Mexico and assistant secretary of state for economic and business affairs, and Raquel Chuayffet, a research assistant at the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute, warn that Canada, Mexico, and the United States have “shocking skills gaps” that currently are hampering economic performance and competitiveness.

They write in the Hill that North America’s labor markets face massive technological disruptions, which should point all three countries toward preparing the jobs that will serve the continent well in the future. Employers are struggling to fill vacancies, even low-skilled, entry-level positions now require digital skills, they wrote.

Employers are struggling to fill vacancies and inadequate experience and lack of hard and soft skills are the most-cited reasons for not finding the right candidates.

The authors’ advice: The three governments should create a trilateral task force on workforce development, with public-private, federal-sub-federal working groups, to develop proposals and strategies to meet emerging skills and jobs needs.

You can read the full op-ed here.

In a related matter, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce reports that the USG + U.S. Chamber of Commerce Commercial Construction Index (CCI) reports that contractor backlogs and revenue expectations remain strong “but a shortage of skilled workers across industry trades weighs heavily on the commercial construction industry. Here’s the full report.


Deep Discord to Greet Trump at G-7
The Hill (Stanage 6/8) “President Trump faces political dangers as he heads to Canada for the Group of Seven economic summit starting Friday, with deep discord at the center of the meeting. Many of the other leading industrialized nations represented at Friday and Saturday’s summit have slammed the tariffs that the U.S. has introduced recently, while Trump’s decision to abandon the Iran nuclear deal and the Paris climate accord have also flummoxed global leaders.

“Leaders of nations that are usually vocal U.S. allies have become pointed in their criticism. And now they will have their chance to press their case with Trump directly, in a setting where no other participant shares the administration’s positions. White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said Thursday that administration staff had “chuckled” at news reports that said the president had considered pulling out of the summit in Charlevoix, Quebec.

“British Prime Minister Theresa May has called the Trump administration’s move to impose steep tariffs on imported steel and aluminum ‘unjustified and deeply disappointing.’ Her Canadian counterpart, Justin Trudeau, called one rationale for those tariffs – that they were necessary in order to safeguard U.S. national security – ‘insulting and unacceptable.’ And on Thursday, French President Emmanuel Macron picked up on speculation that Trump might not sign the traditional end-of-conference joint communiqué at the G7, suggesting that the other nations were becoming a countervailing force to U.S. power. To be sure, however, there are plenty of people in Trump’s base of support at home who will be unbothered by European or Canadian disapproval at the G7, seeing within it evidence that the president is delivering on his agenda of economic nationalism.”