Yesterday, the Canadian government and the State of Michigan announced the details of the international authority that will manage the construction of the new bridge between Windsor and Detroit. This region is a major international gateway and a core component of our bilateral trade relationship, handling up to 30 per cent of our trade with the U.S.
This announcement is another welcome step in what has been a very long process. The group of six who have been nominated to the authority will approve the key steps in the procurement process and will eventually monitor compliance with the bridge agreement signed between Canada and Michigan in 2012.
While the announcement is welcome news, the project still needs $250 million USD to build the U.S. customs plaza. The importance of this project is well known, and most recently, a coalition of State Chambers of Commerce from states representing 40 per cent of the American population wrote directly to President Obama urging the Administration fund the plaza.
A second crossing between Windsor and Detroit is not only badly needed but support is widespread. When completed, the New International Trade Crossing will be one of the most critical pieces of infrastructure in North America. It is far past time for the our American partners to free up the funding needed to get this project going.