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Although trade agreements with developing economies are in the spotlight, trade with the United States is still the most important and should be a top priority for Canadians, says Laura Dawson in the Globe and Mail.

Dawson says that while national initiatives like Regulatory Co-operation Council and Beyond the Border have made important improvements to streamlining the movement of people and goods across the border, there’s more work to be done, especially by provinces, states, and economic sub-regions such as the Great Lakes Region.

Unlike new trade agreements with emerging markets in which benefits flow easily from reductions in national tariff rates, improvements to Great Lakes trade will require close co-operation at the provincial, state and even municipal level. These are new players in international trade, but their participation is critical if we are to keep up with competitors from emerging markets. Now, especially as national attentions turn to federal elections in Canada and the United States, economic progress depends on closer co-operation between states and provinces.

Read the full article here.