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Bruce Heyman is U.S. ambassador to Canada.

This week, I will send letters to the governors of all 50 U.S. states urging them to visit Canada to explore new opportunities for expanding what is already the world's largest and most comprehensive bilateral trade and investment relationship. In 2013, we traded $735-billion in goods and services – the highest total on record. That works out to more than $2-billion in bilateral trade per day! And the 2014 total will be even higher.

Given the size and scope of this vast relationship, the investments in time and effort we make today to grow the U.S.-Canada economic relationship will pay huge dividends in the future as we build on this unprecedented level of shared prosperity.

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That's why my focus as U.S. ambassador to Canada is to continue to expand and strengthen this tremendous relationship. Every day, our two governments, along with business and institutional partners, create new opportunities for growth and expand existing trade and investment flows.

The United States and Canada engage at the highest levels, with seven U.S cabinet-level visitors – including Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker – having travelled to Canada in the past seven months alone. These visits advanced U.S.-Canada ties in a multitude of areas, with the central goal of deepening our economic partnership. Beyond the federal level, 11 U.S. states sent trade delegations to Canada last year, including visits by seven governors. Those missions further strengthen ties between our countries, bringing together key players to drive more business and outcomes.

The role of U.S. states and Canadian provinces is critical to our economies. To get a sense of the relative size of our economic relationship at the state and provincial levels, consider these examples:

  • At nearly $59-billion, Canada’s two-way trade in goods with my home state of Illinois is greater than Canada’s trade with Germany, Japan, and South Korea combined.
  • The province of British Columbia exports more goods to the United States than to its next top five export markets combined.
  • Canada exports more goods to the state of Michigan than it does to the European Union.

To take even greater advantage of what the U.S. market offers in terms of trade and investment opportunities, I have asked many leading Canadian business leaders to join me at the 2015 SelectUSA Investment Summit in Washington, D.C., on March 23 and 24. The summit brings investors from all over the world together with economic development organizations from every corner of the United States, high-level government officials and others working to increase investment in the United States.

At the end of the day, it is far more than trade that binds us. U.S.-Canada political, environmental, security, cultural, academic and familial relationships anchor the most comprehensive commitment to shared prosperity two sovereign nations have ever enjoyed. I'm certain that we will continue to do more together on all these fronts, and I remain committed to working hard to do so in 2015 and beyond.

Eds note: An earlier version of this story listed incorrect dates of the Investment Summit.

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