WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY-21) led a North Country delegation to Ottawa, Ontario to meet with Canadian officials and business leaders. In the meetings, the leaders discussed the latest on NAFTA negotiations, U.S.-Canadian preclearance, dairy issues, and various other topics of interest to the North Country. The group also met with Ambassador Kelly Craft.

“In the North Country, our relationship with Canada is critical to the economic success of our region, and I was grateful for the opportunity today to strengthen our bilateral relationship,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “It was clear from our meetings that both sides have a clear interest in partnering together to benefit our region, and these meetings were a great opportunity to share ideas and make plans. As a Member of the Northern Border Caucus, I will continue to work in Congress to protect and strengthen our relationship with Canada.”


Attendees with Rep. Stefanik’s delegation included:

  • Garry Douglas, President and CEO, North Country Chamber of Commerce
  • Rep. Bill Owens, former Member of Congress; Partner, Stafford Owens Law Firm
  • James Phillips, President and CEO, Canadian/American Border Trade Alliance
  • Paul Grasso, President and CEO, The Development Corporation, Clinton County, N.Y.
  • Russ Kinyon, Economic Development Director, Franklin County, N.Y.
  • Jeremy Evans, Executive Director, Franklin County Industrial Development Agency, Franklin County, N.Y.
  • Patrick Kelly, CEO, St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency, St. Lawrence County, N.Y.
  • David Zembiec, Deputy CEO, Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency, Jefferson County, N.Y.
  • Madeline Donovan, District Director, Rep. Elise Stefanik's Office
  • Ken Crist - Economic Specialist, U.S. Embassy
  • Sara Wilshaw - Director General, North America Advocacy and Commercial Programs, Global Affairs Canada
  • Jennifer McSporran, Mission Liaison Officer – Canada-U.S. Relations, Global Affairs Canada

The group attended several meetings, including:

  • A Briefing with Steve Verheul – Chief Trade Negotiator for NAFTA and Assistant Deputy Minister for Trade Policy;
  • A Roundtable with Canadian Chamber of Commerce;
  • A Meeting with Parliamentary Secretary Andrew Leslie, MP;
  • A Meeting with the Conservative Border Caucus, chaired by MP Colin Carrie;
  • And A Delegation Lunch with Ambassador Kraft.