Highlighting the Vermont, Québec relationship

Published: Aug. 12, 2018 at 10:07 PM EDT
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The 42nd conference of the New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers kicked off in Stowe Sunday.

Gov. Phil Scott and Québec Premier Philippe Couillard started the event by signing a joint declaration for the neighboring border relationships. This comes just days after President Trump had harsh words for the neighbors up north.

"This is tremendously important. That's why we are doing this conference; we are bringing people together from both sides of the border," said Scott, R-Vermont.

"I cannot overemphasize the importance of us joining forces and are actively working in strengthening our partnership and bring our economy, politics and people closer together," Coulliard said.

The joint declaration affirms both Vermont and Quebec will work collaboratively in boosting trade, energy, environment, transportation and tourism between the state and province.

"Quebec is Vermont's number one trading partner and we share deep cultural and economic ties," Scott said.

"This is how we keep relationships between countries at the optimal level. Through the people, that's what we are here for," said Couillard.

This agreement for increased economic development comes just a few days after President Trump tweeted that Canada's tariffs and trade barriers are too high.

Reporter Ike Bendavid: Do you agree with President Trump saying that the tariffs are too high?

Premier Philippe Couillard: We should always aim for bringing tariffs down, but there is always a reason why both countries not only Canada, both countries had decided to put tariffs on certain goods.

"I don’t know the individual tariffs, I don’t know the inner working of the tariffs, but I do know that parity and fairness is essential to any agreement," said Scott.

The conference continues on Monday. Energy and innovation are among the items on the agenda.