WASHINGTON: Canada and the US will work together on a more secure border that permits a freer flow of economic trade, said the two countries’ leaders.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper and US President Barack Obama spoke February 4 in the Oval Office about the idea of a North American “security perimeter.”
The agreement announced Friday will see the two countries co-operate on ways to use modern technology to design a smarter border that remains open to trade and economic growth, but closed to security risks. Harper said the “ambitious” plan will rely on better planning, consistent inspection procedures and shared information between the two border security agencies.
Canadian Association of Importers and Exporters president Joy Nott said the organization supports the notion of a perimeter strategy. But I.E. Canada also hopes the final agreement is inclusive.
“By that I mean that there are improved processes and benefits for large, medium and small companies,” Nott said.
The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) also welcomed the border negotiations. To stay competitive with other emerging economies and other trading blocs, the two countries relied on a predictable supply chain across the border, said CTA’s president and CEO, David Bradley.
“We have been calling upon the governments on both sides of the border to enter into a new shared, smart border agreement for some time,” he noted. “We are hopeful this process will lead to a better balance between security and trade imperatives, restores a risk management approach to the border and a meaningful return on investment in the trusted trader programs.”