In his first international trip since taking office, Lt. Governor Habib traveled to Calgary, Alberta to give the keynote address at the US-Alberta Trade Summit.
Highlighting the unique and critical nature of the relationship between Canada and the United States, Lt. Governor Habib stressed the importance of continued subnational trade between provinces and states, even as isolationist rhetoric and protectionist policies are being pushed at the national level. He asserted that what makes the relationship between the two countries so special is that they share not only borders, but values, and that those shared values of inclusion and opportunity are what have made both countries so prosperous.
“We have a choice to make at this moment in time,” Lt. Governor Habib said. “We can be reduced to conflict and controversy, or we can lift ourselves up to embrace collaboration and competition, to the benefit of both our peoples.”
Lt. Governor Habib reaffirmed Washington state’s commitment to strengthening economic ties with Canada, stating that “economic ties are what lay the groundwork for partnership on noneconomic issues like fighting climate change, rooting out global terrorism, and combatting infectious disease and poverty around the world.”
Closing with a call to action, Lt. Governor Habib said, “If we can drown out the din of controversy and conflict and ultimately orient ourselves toward what business and workers want more than anything else, which is predictability and a sense that they know what the rules of play are, we’ll reach triumph in the face of adversity and a focus on teamwork above narrow self-interest.”
While in Calgary, Lt. Governor Habib also met with local elected and diplomatic officials—including US Consul General Tom Palaia, Alberta Lt. Governor Lois Mitchell, Energy Minister Margaret McCuaig-Boyd, and Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi—and toured the campus of the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT).