LANSING — State Sen. Mike Kowall, R-White Lake, was recently appointed to the bipartisan Midwestern Legislative Conference (MLC) Midwest—Canada Relations Committee, a regional panel of lawmakers tasked with examining key trade and border security issues.
“It’s truly an honor to be appointed to such a group,” Kowall said. “I look forward to working on these important issues facing our state, nation and our international neighbors.”
Kowall and other committee members will continue working to enhance the economic relationship between the Midwestern states and neighboring Canadian provinces, and to support efforts to ensure a safe and well-functioning border, according to the Council of State Governments (CSG).
The most recent economic data indicates that Canada is the largest trading partner for every Midwestern state. In Michigan alone, 237,000 jobs depend on trade with Canada and two-way trade is valued at $43.3 billion.
Kowall will work with leaders from 11 states and four Canadian provinces while serving on the committee. Each state and province in the region can appoint up to six legislators to serve on the MLC committee.
In addition to Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin are also members of the MLC. Canadian MLC affiliates include the provinces of Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Saskatchewan.
MLC and its policy committees are provided support staff by CSG’s Midwestern office. According to its website, CSG is the nation’s only organization serving all three branches of state government. CSG is a region-based forum that fosters the exchange of insights and ideas to help state officials shape public policy.