NEWS RELEASE: For Immediate Release
Contact: Matt Borud (Commerce)
matt.borud@commerce.idaho.govContact: Chanel Tewalt (Agriculture)
(208) 332-8503
Governor Otter Concludes Successful Trade Mission to Canada
BOISE, Idaho—Thursday, October 18, 2018—Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter reported positive initial feedback today from the 11 Idaho companies and organizations that joined him on a trade mission to Toronto, Canada from October 1 – 4, 2018. The Idaho mission, which coincided with the announcement of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), was an important opportunity to work with Idaho’s top trading partner.

“Idaho and Canada have a strong trade relationship and it is essential to maintain our friendship and business ties with our neighbors in the north,” said Governor Otter. “The Idaho companies on this trade mission met with numerous new and existing customers several of which, in time, will turn in into strong business partnerships.”

The mission was coordinated by the Idaho Department of Commerce and the Idaho State Department of Agriculture (ISDA). Participating organizations represented a range of Idaho industry sectors including aerospace, renewable & nuclear energy, robotics, animal supplements, agriculture, safety & security, and forestry equipment.

“It was an exciting time for the state to be in Canada at the heels of the USMCA announcement,” said Idaho Commerce Director Bobbi-Jo Meuleman. “This mission reestablished our strong partnership with Canada and allowed our Idaho companies the opportunity to further strengthen these ties and make new connections. I look forward to the successes this mission will result in for our Idaho businesses.”

In 2017, Canada represented over 20 percent of total exports from Idaho. Canada remains a promising market with the a population spending 60 percent of its disposable income on U.S. goods and services. The timing of the newly negotiated USMCA was a welcome advantage to the Idaho delegation traveling to Toronto, Canada and engaging with potential and current customers.

“I was impressed by the many opportunities that exist for Idaho to expand our business with Canada even further,” said Celia Gould, ISDA Director. “As always, it is a privilege to promote Idaho agriculture on an international level, and we look forward to continued trade with our partners in Canada.”

Company participants had positive insights from the trip:

Tony Pascoe, Sr. Sales and Business Development Representative, Premier Technology
“This was an excellent trip for our team at Premier, all the meetings set up by the Department of Commerce were productive and we expect to begin doing business in Canada within the next 6 -12 months.”

Sean Luangrath, CEO, Inergy
“I highly recommend this program to every company in Idaho because there are resources here, through the Department of Commerce, to help grow companies in Idaho by expanding to overseas markets.”

Candi Fitch, Executive Director, Idaho-E. Oregon Onion Committee
“I found the Governor’s Trade Mission to be very beneficial. I made some good contacts including the Ontario Produce Market and Ontario Produce Marketing Association. Canada is an important market for us. It was nice to meet with companies that are already sourcing Idaho-E. Oregon onions, and to introduce companies to Idaho-E. Oregon onions.”

Amy Lientz, Director of Partnerships, INL
“The journey north was worthwhile. We met several companies and organizations who have complimentary interests as ours: finding innovative solutions to our most pressing challenges in energy and security.”

Brian Havey, Sales Director, Versabuilt
“VersaBuilt is changing the way machine shops operate with MultiGrip Technology and the VBX-160. We’re proud that these products are developed and manufactured in Boise, Idaho. It was an honor to represent Idaho manufacturing with our participation in the Governor’s Trade Mission to Toronto. VersaBuilt will expand its presence in Canada as a result by signing CNC machine dealers in Ontario to distribute our products. We look forward to additional opportunities to work with the Idaho Department of Commerce to continue our growth into new markets.”

Venere Koski, Owner, Wild Gold Supplements
“The mission was very informative and helped us with the research we needed to effectively develop a strategy for tapping into eastern Canada. We determined that there is large market potential for our products there and look forward to expanding our sales into the region.”

To learn more about the Idaho Department of Commerce and programs to assist Idaho businesses, visit

For more information about Idaho agriculture and agricultural exports, visit