Local News


Canadian trade policies could impact Nevada jobs

Posted at 7:12 PM, Jul 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-12 22:27:12-04

From hockey to Cirque du Soleil and Celine Dion, it's easy to see signs of our neighbors to the north in Las Vegas. 

But even off the Strip and out of the limelight, Canada has a major impact on our local economy.

8,000 people are directly employed by Canadian companies in Nevada, the vast majority of which are in the Las Vegas valley.

Even more than that, around 83,000, are employed by companies that do trade with Canada.

One of those companies, Toronto-based Barrick Gold, is a gold mining company that works out of mines in northern Nevada. A few years ago, they also moved their IT and technology center to Henderson.

They have 85 employees there and are planning to expand and hire even more locals.

The fact that Canadian companies are finding success in employing locals isn't an accident.  Groups like the Business Council of Canada and Nevada work closely to bring Canadian leaders in contact with the government and business contacts in southern Nevada they need to open up shop.

"Nevada is a very business-friendly state to begin with," says Richard Perkins with the business council.

He says the governor's office and others have been very open to Canadian companies coming to Nevada.

But at the federal level, the picture is a little different. Some Canadian officials are concerned over President Donald Trump's trade policies, specifically how changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement would impact trade and jobs with the U.S. and Nevada.

"It's sort of a wake-up call for Canada," says Canadian consul general James Villeneuve, who covers Los Angeles and Nevada.

He says because of that, they're working even harder to strengthen their partnerships with states like Nevada to make sure they drive home how important Canadian relations are to the states for trade and jobs.

Villeneuve says that way, states will have a stronger day in fighting to make sure agreements like NAFTA stay in place, protecting jobs that employ many locals in Las Vegas.