A delegation from Kentucky is working to expand its business relationship with the state’s number one trading partner. Gov. Steve Beshear, along with representatives from over 20 companies, meets this week with Canadian officials.
Kentucky Economic Development Cabinet Spokesman Daniel Lowry says even a strong trade relationship can grow stronger.
“Canada is so close, it’s so easy," Lowry said. "It’s an 11 hour drive and because of that it opens the door for so many other companies to export there. It’s the easiest way to do it as far as getting companies in Kentucky to kind of unleash that potential."
Several bourbon-related businesses are included in the delegation, spending much of the week in Montreal and Toronto. Lowry said this trip is intended to plant seeds for future trade agreements, but some deals could also be finalized this week.
“If they’ve got a good product and it sells in Kentucky, it sells in the United States, then chances are that product will do well overseas as well, to the north of us, an eleven hour drive to Canada," Lowry said. " So, that’s good for those companies. It’s good for Kentucky because it brings that money back into Kentucky."
Canada is Kentucky's number one trade destination, last year buying more than $7 billion in Kentucky-made products and services. That’s nearly one-third of the commonwealth’s total exports.