Document Type

Research Report

Publication Date



American and Canadian markets rely on each other greatly, given the volume of trade that exists between the two nations. Companies of both nationalities see opportunity in business growth by accessing the market and establishing a physical presence in the other country. American firms which expanded into the Lower Mainland in British Columbia and Canadian firms which expanded into Whatcom County in Washington State were surveyed to identify reasons for, and obstacles to expansion. Canadian companies cited strategic value and benefits of proximity to British Columbia. American companies cited strategic positioning and labor availability as benefits in the expansion process. Obstacles for Canadian expansion included hiring and securing a quality workforce and issues with crossing the border. American companies experienced issues with Canadian government regulations, although these issues were not severe. Other obstacles provided a similar level of difficulty for both nationalities. Economic impact of these expansions is significant. Extrapolating from the sample data collected, calculations for all the Canadian expansions suggest they provide approximately US$409 million in gross sales and employ approximately 3,900 people in Whatcom County. Again extrapolating from the sample data, calculations for all the American expansions show they generate approximately US$705 million in gross sales and employ approximately 9,100 people in the Lower Mainland.