Back to posts

Governor to provide keynote address at the 2024 U.S.-Canada Summit on June 11; Trade mission to focus on quantum, EVs & technology

CHICAGO- Governor JB Pritzker, alongside state economic development leaders, will embark on a trade mission to Canada from June 10 to June 13. During the trip, the Governor will participate in the 2024 U.S.-Canada Summit and meet with key government leaders as well as business leaders in quantum, finance, electric vehicles (EVs), technology, and other growing sectors.

“For generations, the people of Canada and the people of Illinois have been connected in more ways than one,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “As each of our economies grow and evolve, we have remained reliable partners to one another. Over the coming years, Illinois will work to build out the industries of the future – electric vehicles, quantum computing, nanotechnology – and will forge greater bonds with forward-thinking governments and businesses such as these to truly unleash our shared potential.”

As part of the trade mission, Governor Pritzker will provide a keynote address at the 2024 U.S.-Canada Summit which is hosted by BMO and the Eurasia Group. The Summit will bring together senior decision-makers from across the U.S. and Canada to promote and discuss joint opportunities in trade, tech innovation, energy, and the environment. ​

“Through this trade mission, the State of Illinois will build upon its storied history of collaboration with Canadian businesses and economic leaders,” said Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) Director Kristin Richards. “As one of Illinois’ greatest economic partners, we look forward to strengthening our connections as we grow economic opportunities in key sectors.”

In addition to participating in the U.S.-Canada Summit, the Governor will visit and participate in various meetings and roundtables, including a visit to MaRS Discovery District, which is North America’s largest urban innovation hub, to discuss opportunities to collaborate on quantum and promote Illinois’ start up and innovation landscape.

“As Canadian companies look at where to invest and grow, we want to show them that in Illinois they’ll find the workforce, infrastructure, ecosystem of like-minded companies, and support they need to thrive,” said Intersect Illinois Board Chairman John Atkinson. “We look forward to coming back from this trade mission with even stronger relationships that will help facilitate investment in Illinois.”

After the Summit and various business meetings and roundtables in Toronto, the delegation will head to Montreal where the Governor will participate in a fireside chat at the Conference De’ MontrealWhile in Montreal, the delegation will tour Lion Electric, whose Joliet facility is considered the largest all-electric U.S. manufacturing facility dedicated to medium and heavy-duty commercial vehicle production.

Exports and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) play a critical role in Illinois’ economy. Canada is Illinois’ top trading partner, with over $92 billion in bilateral trade in 2022, with Illinois exports increasing 30% between 2021 and 2022. Top exports include transportation equipment, machinery, chemicals and food and kindred products. Canada is Illinois’ 4th largest FDI market based on employment, with more than 370 Canadian companies located in Illinois, including BMO, McCain Foods and Lion Electric. Canadian companies employ approximately 32,000 Illinoisans in the state.

Illinois has experienced tremendous economic success over the past year, attracting nearly $5 billion in company investments through incentive programs alone, and has been named the number two state in the nation for corporate expansions and relocations by Site Selection magazine. Illinois was also ranked by CBNC as one of the Top States for Business and continues to attract companies looking to call the state home. ​ Over the past several years, Illinois has launched new business attraction incentives while making improvements to its existing suite.