New United States Vice President Kamala Harris (left) and President Joe Biden (right) are sworn in at U.S. inauguration ceremonies Wednesday morning in Washington, D.C.. (Saul Loeb/Pool photos via AP)

Surrey Board of Trade highlights innovation, policy changes as new U.S. president sworn in

COVID-19, border re-opening among issues affecting city, board says

On the morning that the U.S. president and vice-president were officially sworn into office, the Surrey Board of Trade released a statement reiterating what a new administration will mean for the city.

The release, issued Jan. 20, at the same time the inaugurations of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were underway in Washington, D.C., listed four reasons why a strong relationship with the U.S. administration is important to the city: Surrey is a border city; the city has “the greatest number of manufacturers in B.C. that ship goods locally and internationally; the city is “an agricultural and health/technology innovator”; and “is part of the Cascadia economic innovation corridor that will spur innovation and jobs as we move through and beyond the pandemic.”

While beginning with a congratulatory note to Biden and Harris on their appointments, the SBOT release focused heavily on innovation – “about making things better in ways to add value, save time, or save money,” – and noted that Canada as a whole “needs a comprehensive approach to create jobs and make our lives better.”

• READ ALSO: Surrey Board of Trade calls for ‘immediate’ government help for businesses shut down

The board of trade also noted that, once a new U.S. administration takes office, there are “many policies” that need to be addressed, including softwood lumber, the border – specifically, how to the United States gets COVID-19 under control so the border can be re-opened to non-essential travel; immigration; trade and climate and energy.

With regard to immigration, the board of trade notes that with Biden and Harris now in the White House, “there will be increased levels of competition for immigrants as Biden has plans to expand the number of high-skilled worker visas granted by the U.S.”

On the subject of climate and energy, the board notes that “The U.S., somewhat similar to the Canadian government, will fast-track investments in green infrastructure to create jobs and has plans to stop the Keystone XL pipeline.”

“There are many issues and policies to watch in the next four years between Canada and the US that will affect our daily lives and our economy. This matters to Surrey as we move to become the largest city in B.C.”

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