TAMPA, Fla. – Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP, a full-service law firm with offices in Tampa and Sarasota, recently hosted a cross border trade event and reception for Canada’s Ambassador to the United States, Gary Doer, along with dignitaries from across the region, to promote economic opportunities between Tampa and Canada.
The ambassador spoke to a crowd of about 100 people last week, including representatives from MacDill Airforce Base, the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation, Hillsborough and Pasco County government, and members of the healthcare, banking, finance and real estate industries. Ambassador Doer addressed the crowd about energy and environmental policies, tourism, taxes and international trade.
“I am incredibly pleased and honored to be with thought leaders from the Tampa Bay region to get to know you better and build upon the strong foundation of the deep and multi-faceted relationship between Canada and the United States,” said Ambassador Gary Doer. “It is a partnership that is unrivaled around the world and we see plentiful opportunities for us to work together with you here in Florida in such areas as cross border trade, tourism, business and more.”
Ron Christaldi, a prominent business lawyer and partner in Shumaker’s Tampa office and the 2015 Chair of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, along with Andrew McIntosh, partner in the firm’s international practice group, hosted the event at The Tampa Club on April 13.
Christaldi, who recently joined the Tampa Bay Export Alliance and other Tampa Bay area business and political leaders on a trade mission to Santiago, Chile, will also possibly attend a similar trade mission to Toronto this fall.
“Six hundred passengers travel back and forth to Canada every day through the Tampa International Airport,” said Christaldi. “We can now can take cargo from our port and travel uninterrupted all the way to the Canadian border. Our political leaders are major advocates for a more vibrant economy in the Tampa Bay region, and increased trade opportunities mean more and better jobs. It’s a win-win situation for both Tampa Bay and the residents and business owners in Canada,” said Christaldi.
As a member of the bars of both Ontario and Florida, McIntosh provides representation to clients involved in cross-border business. In 2013, McIntosh was instrumental in forming the Tampa Canada Bi-National Chamber of Commerce, he served as Honorary Consul for Canada from 2005 to 2012 and continues to support the Consulate General at Miami in its activities.
"We are thankful for the ambassador’s visit and will continue to explore ways to promote and strengthen the trade relationship between the Tampa Bay region and Canada,” said McIntosh. “Our goal is to provide business leaders with tools and resources, as well as valuable introductions, that facilitate international commerce and investment on a bilateral basis. In doing so we will help create jobs and prosperity.”
St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman and Mayor Bob Buckhorn of Tampa both attended the event, along with several elected officials and dignitaries from the Tampa Bay region.
“I am thankful to all the partners at this firm for hosting the ambassador and making this happen,” said Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn. “As we think about our upcoming trade mission in October, we think about the tremendous opportunities to advance this relationship with direct foreign investment from Canada in the United States, additional jobs for Floridians, investment by Florida businesses in Canada and expanding our horizons. It opens up a whole new horizon to tell Tampa’s story to parts of the world that perhaps don't know that much about us. We are thankful you are here, and we look forward to a long and prosperous relationship,” said Buckhorn.
About Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP
Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick is a full-service business law firm with more than 240 lawyers, 60 paralegals and 495 employees in five offices: Toledo and Columbus, Ohio; Tampa and Sarasota, Florida; and Charlotte, North Carolina. In each of its markets, Shumaker is the premier provider of quality legal services to individuals, small businesses, health care providers, nonprofits and Fortune 500 and international corporations.