By McKenzie Delisle Published on June 3, 2019
PLATTSBURGH — North Country Congresswoman Elise Stefanik was awarded the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Spirit of Enterprise Award Friday afternoon.
This was due to thecongresswoman’s support of pro-business policies in 2018, Political Affairs and Federation Relations Vice President and Managing Director Sara Armstrong said.
“Every year the U.S. Chamber of Commerce awards the Spirit of Enterprise based on rankings that we give members of Congress,” Armstrong explained. “It’s called, How They Voted.”
Featured on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce website, How They Voted tracks the voting patterns of each member of Congress on a yearly basis, she added.
“You often hear somebody say, ‘I’m pro-business,” Armstrong said. “Those words don’t matter until you actually see how they voted in Congress.
“Elise Stefanik is one of those members who is (doing) what she says back here, at home.
“We’re proud that she earned a 100 percent ranking with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.”
Stefanik (R-Schuylerville) accepted the award moments after she was the keynote speaker for the first ever Quebec-New York Aerospace/Transportation Equipment Rendezvous held in the West Side Ballroom at 253 New York Road.
That event, hosted by the North American Center of Excellence for Transportation Equipment and, in part, fundedviaState Sen. Betty Little (R-Queensbury) and Assemblyman BillyJones, attracted U.S. and Canadian transportation businesses ofQuebec, Aero Montreal, to further “the aim of a synergistic bi-national cluster,” a chamber press release had said.
Participants attended various workshops throughout the day, including sessions such as, “The Growing Impact of Additive Manufacturing,” and “The Greening of Transportation.”
Quebec Minister for International Relations Nadine Girault also spoke as a keynote and participants were invited to tour Norsk Titanium during their visit, as well.
During her talk, Stefanik stressed the importance of the Can-Am relationship, saying that Canada is more than just abordering nation.
They are America’s number one trading partner, closest economic ally and a truebusiness partner, the congresswomansaid.
“Fostering, maintaining and continuing to grow our relationship is critical to the economic success to both of our nations,” she said.
And, because of that, Stefanik has supported legislation that supports that bi-nationalconnection, like theUnited States–Mexico–Canada Agreement.
“The shared production of goods between the U.S. and Canada makes our goods more competitive in global markets against China and others,”she said. “Here, in Clinton County in particular, 15 percent of the workforce is employed by Canadian or cross-border companies.
“Since NAFTA took effect in 1994, New York has added 2.7 million jobs.”
Stefanik said she has voiced concernagainst “some of the harshrhetoric used regarding Canadian leadership and U.S.-Canadian trade.”
“I will continue to speak out when this trading relationship is at risk.”
Caused byobstructions, such astariffs, she said.
“My office and I (are) opposed to tariffs and I view them as a form of taxation,” Stefanik said.
“I have co-sponsored legislation that requires the president to obtain congressional approval before levying tariffs so that we can maintain our strong trading partnerships with our allies, like Canada.”
The congresswoman said she is also a strong advocate for the northern border, serving as co-chair, alongside Congressman Brian Higgins (D-Buffalo) of theCongressional Northern Border Caucus.
“The caucus is an active coalition of members of congress with districts along the northern border who help bring awareness to the importance of maintaining a close relationship between the U.S. and Canada,” she said.
“Just a few weeks ago, Congressman Higgins and I sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security, along with other Northern Border members, asking them to refrain from diverting customs and border protection officers from the northern border to the southern border,” Stefanik said.
The northern border, she said, constitutes the longest, land boundary between two countries in the world.
“At 5,525 miles, approximately 400,000 people and over $1.6 billion in goods cross the border daily through more than 120 ports of entry,” Stefanik said.
“I was proud to lead this push to ensure that we keep our(Customs and Border Protection)officers at the level they need to be here.”
Maintaining a trade relationship with Canada is important for the hardworking familiesof the district, Stefanik said.
“I believe that it is incredibly important to buy North American, not just American,” she said. “Our cross-border operations are significant sources of revenue for the North Country economy, the American economy as a whole and the Canadian economy.
“When our partnership is strong and working — both economies thrive.”
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