EAST LANSING (WWJ/AP) – Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder wants to broaden ties with Canada, and one of his top goals to make that happen is building a new bridge between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario.

Speaking Tuesday at the Great Lakes International Trade and Transport Hub Summit at Michigan State University, Snyder said the New International Trade Crossing is “critically important” to expanding international trade between the U.S. and Canada.

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The owners of the Ambassador Bridge oppose a second bridge being built two miles to the south, saying a publicly supported bridge across the Detroit River unfairly would compete with their own.

Some Republican lawmakers agree, making it hard for Snyder to round up the votes to get the new bridge under way.

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Snyder said he also wants to work more with other nearby states.

Wearing a “Build the Bridge” button, Gov. Snyder kicked off June’s policy conference on Mackinac Island by pushing for approval for the new international crossing.

Snyder said that despite cries to the contrar, no taxpayer dollars will be used to build the bridge.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.