Ogdensburg Courts Canadian Businesses

Ogdensburg Courts Canadian Businesses

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Ogdensburg is making a renewed push to attract more Canadian business.

Trade keeps flowing between Canada and the U.S. over the international bridge in Ogdensburg.

But the city wants more than just trade. It wants whole plants and companies. 

On Wednesday, local officials pitched the U.S. to about 40 Canadian business people.

“The main impetus is the U.S. market is 10 times the size as the Canadian market," the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority's John Rishe said, "so all Canadian companies want to sell into that market.”

They had help in their sales job. The president of a company that recently opened a new manufacturing plant in Ogdensburg answers questions from fellow Canadian business people. One answer has them nodding their heads "yes."

“I would say our cost to run a plant here would be considerably cheaper,” Canexsys Networks president William Fry said.

There's a lot of uncertainty about trade between Canada and the U.S. right now. That's because of the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Act (NAFTA).

Some local officials think those uncertainties could actually drive more Canadian companies to locate in the U.S.

“There's a certain amount of uncertainty there and they're reacting to that," Rishe said, "and by establishing a U.S. facility, you eliminate that issue completely.”

That's because they would no longer be shipping products across the border if they make them here. That means those companies can avoid any increased tariffs that may be coming. 

Negotiations on NAFTA recessed Tuesday with all sides saying big bargaining gaps remain.

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