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COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.—Governors from the United States and Mexico and a representative of Canada’s premiers gathered today for the first-ever Summit of North American Governors and Premiers. The summit is jointly hosted by the U.S. National Governors Association (NGA), the Mexican National Conference of Governors of Mexico (CONAGO) and the Canadian Council of the Federation (COF).

The summit will promote and advance cooperation by state, provincial and territorial leaders of North America, a continent that generates a combined gross domestic product of nearly $20 trillion USD per year, with a population of more than 475 million.

NGA Chair Utah Gov. Gary R. Herbert and Host Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, as well as CONAGO Chair Mexico Gov. Eruviel Ávila and COF Vice-Chair Yukon Premier Darrell Pasloski, addressed attendees and the media at the opening news conference Saturday afternoon.

“As governors and premiers, we know what has to be done each and every day,” Gov. Herbert said. “That is one reason maintaining and strengthening the economic and cultural relationship between the United States and our North American partners is an important priority for the future growth of all three nations.”

“Direct interaction with other governors and premiers is important,” Gov. Hickenlooper added. “The opportunity to hear from one another and exchange ideas is critical to increased economic and job growth.”

“We are living at an historic juncture, where local governments are becoming key transformation agents and the source of international cooperation efforts. The origin of this summit represents a big step toward the building of a North American community,” said Gov. Ávila. “We are committed to making progress in the coordination of policies and processes, and by setting the framework for us to be more effective in the joint development of the most competitive and dynamic region in the world.”

“Enhancing North American competitiveness is a goal that our three countries share. As leaders of subnational governments, we face similar challenges to grow our economies and our trading relationships, and to promote investment,” said Premier Pasloski. “By sharing our best practices and experiences, we are better positioned to face the challenges ahead.”

Saturday morning, the leaders met for an opening session, followed by two consecutive sessions on innovative infrastructure investment and North American economic innovation. This afternoon, they will reconvene for a session on jobs and investment in North America, followed by a closing session. The day also includes opportunities for governors and premiers to meet privately to discuss issues.

For up-to-date information, including photos and video from the meeting, visit www.nga.org/cms/NASummit.