Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, and thank you for accommodating my schedule. I'm on my way to Washington to attend a panel on dispute resolution tomorrow.
The Business Council of Canada represents chief executives, entrepreneurs, and more than 150 leading Canadian companies in all sectors and in all regions of the country. Our member companies employ 1.7 million citizens, account for more than half the value of the Toronto Stock Exchange, contribute the largest share of federal corporate taxes, and are responsible for most of Canada's exports, corporate philanthropy, and private sector investments in research and development. That is my standard introduction.
I was here speaking with you in the spring and gave you a rundown of the specific priorities of the Business Council. I won't repeat myself again because we had that conversation a few moths ago. I will provide in writing in a follow-up to my appearance here both my remarks—because we had a computer system failure for the last two days—and also our letter to the Prime Minister outlining our specific demands. I do want to touch on a couple of things, and I appreciate the opportunity to do so. I will be quick.
With respect to advocacy, since I was last here with you in the spring, the Business Council has launched a resource that we've made publicly available on our website, which is a map that gives you the trade and investment data between every congressional district in the United States and Canada. You can search by congressional district, by state, by politician. That information has been made publicly available so that our member companies and all of the associations and organizations that are here with me today can use this resource in their conversations with the United States.
Interestingly, when we went through this study and identified this data, we found that there is a Canadian-owned company in every congressional district in the Unites States. There are 7,705 Canadian-owned companies in the United States. Average congressional district exports total $660 million U.S. in goods and services every year. As we know—and we're all on the same page—there is a significant trade relationship between Canada and the United States, and it should be continued.
We are happy to work with all of you on making sure that you have this information in your conversations with members of Congress, governors, and senators. There is one thing we would like to ask. I'm sure that all of you have companies in your ridings that do business in the United States and may have a presence in the United States. We'd like to ask you to ask them to visit their members of Congress. As you know way better than I do, all politics is local and all trade is local. If we start to work on our ground game at the local level to advocate for NAFTA, I think that it will be extremely important whenever a potentially concluded deal comes forward, or if NAFTA ends up hitting the rocks with Congress. At the end of the day, this all comes down to Congress, in our view.
On substance, as I mentioned when I was last here, I spoke about the Business Council's priorities. From our perspective, it's imperative not to undermine the value chain that NAFTA has built, that we must modernize, that we must go farther. In particular, the Business Council has called for modernization of labour mobility, or as we call them, temporary entry rules, for a negotiated solution on Buy American, for a renewed commitment on regulatory co-operation, and for a refreshed border processing system.
There are a few fundamental elements of the agreement in our view that must be maintained. We cannot agree to country-specific rules of origin, and we must maintain the principles of dispute resolution found today.
I want to spend one second on dispute resolution. From our perspective, the United States' agenda on dispute resolution is not solely focused on NAFTA. We think the United States has a bigger, broader agenda on dispute resolution. That's of great concern to us. In particular, I'm talking about chapter 19, anti-dumping and countervail.
I've heard from some of my colleagues in the south that we really shouldn't be worried about chapter 19 in NAFTA because similar provisions exist within the WTO. What I'd leave you with is that we are concerned that the administration's next stop is the WTO. It's important from our perspective that we embed in rock in NAFTA, in an agreement with the United States, important provisions included in chapter 19. We feel the same way about chapter 11, because we believe that it's their first stop on AD and CVD.
I'd also like to identify a characteristic that from our perspective must be satisfied in a negotiated outcome. That's balance. Let me be clear that concessions in this agreement solely on the part of Canada is not acceptable. With every trade deal, everyone must make concessions. Everyone has to do some things that are difficult for them.
At the end of day—which I think I say a lot—it's important to make sure everyone gives in areas that are a little uncomfortable for them, because that's the only way we're going to be able to modernize and make sure there's an efficient trading system. Specifically, a successful outcome cannot be concessions in areas for Canada that in total include IP market access, dispute resolution, government procurement, and agriculture, and have the United States offer us nothing in return, which we're concerned is what's shaping up.
I'll speak about dynamics really quickly, because I'm really concerned about the time. I speak regularly with folks in the United States and Mexico. There's an increasing concern that the negotiations are entering a difficult period. We're all working toward a positive outcome. I think we all want to see NAFTA be successful, but it's imperative for our government to start to think about how it will manage through a period of uncertainty. If NAFTA does start to really hit the rocks, it's imperative that our government have a firm understanding as to how it will ensure that trade continues and that the border continues to work.
I'll just finish with one comment on competitiveness, and I mentioned this when I was last here. We're concerned that the combined effect of policies, both at the federal level and at the provincial level, everything from tax policy to uncertainty in the approvals system with regard to resource projects, energy costs, labour policies, combined with uncertainty in the United States, U.S. tax reform, and aggressive state-level policy frameworks that are designed to attract investment, are going to be a big problem for Canada. We're really worried about that.
I don't know if any of you met with Governor Pete Ricketts when he was in Ottawa recently, but his agenda to attract investment to the state is impressive, and I very much appreciate it, and it very much worries me.
I'll finish there, but thank you very much.