The Cascadia Innovation Corridor bolsters our region’s exceptional values and economies.

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The Cascadia region is more than geography. Cascadia is the strong and enduring ties between two remarkable countries, and between a forward-looking state and province with shared values, connected economies and a beautiful natural landscape that knows no boundaries.

We are stronger when we collaborate. It’s why Washington state and British Columbia joined together to form the Cascadia Innovation Corridor last year, and it’s an honor to welcome our friends from British Columbia to the Cascadia Innovation Corridor Conference this fall in Seattle.

Together, we are already making progress on key initiatives. We began a feasibility study for a new ultra-high-speed rail line from Portland to B.C. that could promote economic integration, enable affordable housing and reduce traffic. We’re also closer to establishing new seaplane service between Seattle and Vancouver, B.C.

Our collective universities, businesses and research institutions have led the world on everything from carbon fiber and airplanes, to vaccines and cures for cancer. The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center is creating new partnerships with the B.C. Cancer Agency that could help revolutionize scientific discovery and save lives.

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Earlier this year, I had the privilege of meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and we discussed many topics important to Cascadia, including our mutual commitment to fight climate change. The Pacific Coast Collaborative, the West Coast Electric Highway and our pledge to uphold the Paris Climate Accord are great examples of action-oriented partnerships and policies that benefit the entire region.

The Prime Minister and I also discussed the importance of facilitating trade.  Canada is one of our state’s largest trading partners with a market value of $8 billion. Equally important, we discussed the moral imperative of welcoming refugees and keeping the door open to those seeking freedom.

This special relationship between our two communities is worth celebrating, cultivating and growing. Our rich history together and our confidence in the future will allow us to tackle our biggest challenges head on, and do it in a way that makes sure everyone throughout the great region has the opportunity to be a part of the progress, and the future we create.

The Cascadia Innovation Corridor Conference brings together business, academic, and government leaders from both sides of the border to explore new strategies for the region to come together, maximize our shared competitive advantages, and elevate our global economic position.