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New Michigan-Ontario agreement focuses on EV production

Cobalt is an important component of lithium ion batteries, like those in many electric vehicles
Keith Srakocic
Cobalt is an important component of lithium ion batteries, like those in many electric vehicles

Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Ontario Premier Doug Ford signed a new memorandum of understanding Tuesday that stresses economic and environmental cooperation but makes no specific demands on either party.

It includes provisions dealing with trade, water and manufacturing. Whitmer said there are economic opportunities on both sides of the border in the electric vehicle marketplace.

“And so, we’ve got to work together to build a prosperous future for future generations,” she said during the online event. “And that’s what brings us together today – to reaffirm our partnership and re-commit ourselves to partnering on the challenges of our time.”

The agreement is not legally binding, but Ford said it will help boost existing cross-border trade.

“It will facilitate faster, more efficient border crossings and help businesses on both sides of the border gain access to government procurement opportunities,” he said. “It will help build our economies, strengthen our integrated supply chains, including for EVs.”

Ford said streamlining supply chains between the two countries is important because auto parts can cross the Michigan-Ontario border as many as eight times before a vehicle’s final assembly.

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Rick Pluta is the managing editor for the Michigan Public Radio Network.
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