Michigan Forms New Agreement with Ontario to Strengthen Economic Ties, Support Increased Trade and Job Creation Between Countries

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

LANSING, Mich. — Today Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Ontario Premier Doug Ford signed a new economic agreement building on our longstanding economic relationship through a new partnership that will increase trade, attract investment, and encourage job creation in both jurisdictions. The new strategic investment and procurement agreement (SIPA) will support joint initiatives and the creation of new programs for businesses in priority areas, including electric vehicles and related supply chains.

“As home to the busiest border crossing for goods between the U.S. and Canada, Michigan and Ontario have deeply shared economic interests on issues from future mobility to agriculture,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “Canada was the top destination for Michigan exports last year, putting $27 billion into our economy and creating thousands of jobs across our state. Today’s Memorandum of Understanding will reaffirm our partnership and foster greater collaboration on trade, technology, cybersecurity, agriculture, and more. Let’s continue to work together to grow our economies, invest in our people, and usher in a bright future.”

“Ontario and Michigan share deep economic ties as partners, neighbours and friends,” said Premier Doug Ford. “This agreement will help open even more opportunities to work together and drive further economic growth. As we navigate global uncertainty, now is the time to strengthen this important relationship to build our economies, further integrate our supply chains and create good-paying jobs on both sides of the border.”

The governor and premier were joined by Vic Fedeli, Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, and Quentin L. Messer, Jr., the CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

Michigan and Ontario share the busiest northern border crossing for goods in North America and are each other’s largest trading partner with total trade valued at $80.6 billion last year. Under the new Michigan-Ontario SIPA, the two jurisdictions will work together to identify opportunities for strategic partnership and joint trade promotion, improve access to information and facilitate more efficient border crossings. In addition to collaborating on electric vehicle adoption and related supply chains, other priority sectors include advanced technology, cybersecurity, agriculture and rural development, alternative clean fuels and travel and tourism.

As part of the SIPA, Michigan and Ontario will establish a Procurement Cooperation Council. The council will support an open dialogue on government procurement, improving transparency and engagement on government purchasing for businesses from both jurisdictions.


  • Michigan and Ontario have the largest trade relationship between any Canadian province and U.S. state. In 2022, over 8 per cent of the annual trade between the U.S. and Canada was between Ontario and Michigan.
  • Last year, total trade between Michigan and Ontario was valued at $80.6 billion (CDN), with imports from Michigan totaling $31.3 billion (CDN). The trade relationship between the two jurisdictions supports thousands of jobs on both sides of the border.Combined, Michigan and Ontario are responsible for approximately 22 per cent of North America’s automotive output. The state and province share a highly integrated automotive supply chain, with vehicle parts crossing the border several times before rolling off the assembly line in finished vehicles.
  • On August 18, 2021, Michigan and Ontario signed a memorandum of understanding to explore the implementation of a cross-border testing environment that will further support the commercialization and adoption of auto and transportation technologies in Ontario.


To view the full MOU, please click the link below:
Michigan-Ontario Memorandum of Understanding


About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit www.MichiganBusiness.org. For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at www.michigan.org. Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.