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Why one of Canada’s top ranking govt. officials is in Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WISH) — One of Canada’s highest ranking government officials visited central Indiana Tuesday.

Minister of Finance Bill Morneau is trying to strengthen business relations between Indiana and Canada.

He met with Governor Eric Holcomb Tuesday after touring the Lebanon facility of food manufacturer Skjodt-Barrett. The company is one of about 160 Canadian-owned companies with operations in Indiana, according to Morneau.

“We wanted to come to the United States to places where we actually do business. Where jobs are created here. Where jobs are created in Canada,” Morneau said.

Morneau said in Indiana alone, there are more than 189,000 jobs linked to trade and investment with Canada. He spent Monday in New York City and, Wednesday, he will visit Chicago.

Last month, after President Donald Trump welcomed Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to the White House, Morneau said he met with Vice President Mike Pence.

“I think the Vice President very much understands how close the relationship is between our two counties,” Morneau said. “He sees it because he knows about the jobs in Indiana.”

As governor, Pence praised Skojt-Barrett for investing more than $43 million to expand the Lebanon plant.

Morneau met Governor Holcomb Tuesday after Morneau’s round table discussion with Indiana business leaders.

“The strength of the business relationship is something we want to talk about, we want to nurture and we want to improve over time,” Morneau said.

The Minister of Finance started his day with a tour of the Canadian National Railway’s Kirk Yard in Gary, Indiana.

A spokesperson for Governor Holcomb said Tuesday marked the first time Holcomb met Morneau. He’s excited about the partnership.

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