Oh, Canada: Minister Promotes Trade in DFW

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TEXAS A LEADING TRADE PARTNER WITH CANADA, AND OFFICIALS HOPE TO GROW THAT RELATIONSHIP


An innovative Canadian trucking company has opened a high-tech logistics center in Dallas’ West End district, and a top Canadian trade official was in town this week to mark the occasion and build on an already strong trade partnership between Canada and the Lone Star state.

Dominique Anglade, Quebec’s minister of innovation, science, and economic development, was on hand Monday afternoon for the formal announcement that C.A.T. Inc., a major Canadian trucking company was open for business in the West End.

But her bigger mission in visiting North Texas was to promote trade between the Province of Quebec and companies in Dallas-Fort Worth.

She said North Texas is a strong trade partner with Canada and that she hopes to build on that.

“We really want to reinforce our relationship with our trading partners such as Texas.” – Dominique Anglade

“We really want to reinforce our relationship with our trading partners such as Texas,” Anglade said Monday at the Dallas Regional Chamber offices in downtown Dallas.

She touted C.A.T. as a leader in the logistics industry.

“We really want to emphasize the fact that this company has had a number of innovative initiatives,” Anglade said.

“C.A.T is a true success story in the green transportation sector, and a major asset in achieving our targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” Anglade said about the company.

QUEBEC AND TEXAS HAVE STRONG RELATIONSHIP

Anglade emphasized, however, that Quebec’s relationship with North Texas is multifaceted.

“There are many initiatives going on between Canada and Texas,” Anglade said. “An example of that is the initiative we have with Bell Textron. We are going to be building the 505 in Mirabel in Quebec.”

Fort Worth-based Bell Helicopter is a leading maker of military and commercial helicopters, and its 505 Jet Ranger model is one of the company’s best-selling aircraft.

“There are different initiatives and companies that are interested in coming here (Quebec), we are accompanied by 13 other companies in the biotech sector that will be meeting with our partners here,” Anglade told me about her schedule in North Texas.

“Since 2014, Texas has been the main, well the first, trading partner with Quebec, so it’s very important for us to be here,” Anglade said.

Texas has been the top trading partner for Quebec, with a total trade volume of $11.5 billion, and its second-biggest export market with a peak of $3.6 billion in 2014, according to figures from the Quebec Ministry of Economy, Innovation, and Exports.

As of April, Canada was the United States’ top trading partner in 2016 with $87 billion in total trade, while Mexico was second at $75 billion, according to U.S. Census data. Mexico was Texas’ top export partner in 2015, with $94.5 million in total exports, while Canada was second at $23.8 million.

DALLAS REGIONAL CHAMBER WANTS TO STRENGTHEN TIES

The Dallas Regional Chamber is working to building on the city’s relationship with Quebec.

“As part of our new strategic plan, we are focused on strengthening our ties with international countries and corporations that want to expand operations or establish a presence in our region,” said Sarah Carabias-Rush, vice president for International Economic Development at the Dallas Regional Chamber.

C.A.T. used the occasion to show off one of its new compressed natural gas-powered trucks, driven from Canada for the event held at the offices of the Dallas Regional Chamber in downtown Dallas.

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Daniel Goyette is founder and president of C.A.T. Inc. (Photo by Lance Murray)

The company’s trucks make hundreds of trips from Canada to Texas and Mexico each month, and C.A.T. founder and President Daniel Goyette said the new office will support the company’s current operations from its Laredo office, which is roughly 2,400 miles from Quebec.

The company is in the process of converting its roughly 300-truck fleet to CNG, and so far, operates 100 of the innovative trucks on U.S. and Canadian highways.

Fuel for the CNG trucks is less expensive that diesel and produce 30 percent fewer emissions than diesel-powered tractors.  Each CNG-powered truck has a roughly 850-mile range per fill-up.

“We found the right people here in Dallas.” – Daniel Goyette

Goyette said the company chose Dallas because of its central location in the U.S. and because of its ready pool of talented people.

“We found the right people here in Dallas,” Goyette said. The company has named Guy Byars to run the Dallas office, which will employ about five people at first.

Geography also played a role in choosing Dallas for the office, Goyette said.

“Dallas is in our strategy for us to move east-west, north-south,” Goyette told me.

C.A.T. driver Don Simpson drove the bright red CNG-powered truck on the roughly 2,000-mile journey from Quebec to Dallas, accompanied in the cab by Canadian journalist Yanick Michaud.

Simpson said driving the CNG-trucks is slightly different than the standard diesel rig. He said the CNG truck is 2,000 pounds heavier and has a front end that is 13 inches shorter.

That results in a “quicker, easier turn,” Simpson said.

The truck also produces power and torque differently than a diesel truck and because of that, Simpson said it’s important to become proficient with the vehicle’s 13-speed, clutch-free manual transmission.


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C.A.T. showed off one of its new CNG-powered trucks outside the offices of the Dallas Regional Chamber in downtown Dallas. (Photo by Lance Murray)

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Driver Don Simpson piloted the CNG-powered truck roughly 2,000 miles from Quebec to Dallas. (Photo by Lance Murray)

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Dominique Anglade exits the CNG-powered truck parked outside Ross Tower in downtown Dallas. (Photo by Lance Murray)

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Canadian journalist Yanick Michaud interviews Quebec Minister Dominique Anglade in the Dallas Regional Chamber offices in downtown Dallas. (Photo by Lance Murray)

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