Joined: 30 Oct 2006
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Location: Nova Scotia
Posted: Wed May 16, 2007 11:27 am Post subject: At the Border
Security and shared border agreement key to preserving Canada’s trade relationship with U.S.
Dr. Alexander Moens, Senior Fellow, Centre for Canadian American Relations at The Fraser Institute
and Professor, Simon Fraser University, Tel (604) 291-4361
Click here for the complete publication.
Release Date: May 16, 2007
Vancouver, BC - Reaching an agreement on shared border security and defence is the best way for Canada to maintain an open border with the United States and safeguard our trade relationship, says a new study published by The Fraser Institute, an independent research organization with offices across Canada.
“Recent trade disputes such as softwood lumber and the so-called mad cow disease were allowed to fester and drag on primarily because Canada had no political capital with the White House that it could call on to help diffuse the disputes,” said Dr. Alexander Moens, author of the report and a senior fellow with the Fraser Institute.
“Rather than approach each trade-related issue on a piecemeal basis, our government should be working with the US to reach a comprehensive agreement on security measures and a shared border to ensure we have continued access to the US market.”
The report, Canadian American Relations in 2007, looks at the recent history of Canada and U.S. relations and trade disputes. It concludes that changes in governments on both sides of the border offer an opportunity to revive the bilateral relationship and co-operation that has traditionally existed between Canada and the U.S.
“The Conservative government elected in 2006 has moved to improve political relations with the United States and President George W. Bush. Given the need for the Bush administration to score success in a foreign area outside of Iraq, a window of opportunity has opened for a new deal with Canada,” Moens said.
Moens points out that Canada has an enormous stake in the free flow of trade and investment to and from the United States. >>>
Harmonize Border Security: U.S. Official
Bringing security on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border into line is "key" to a strong and vibrant economic and political relationship between the two countries, a U.S. Department of Homeland Security official told a conference last week.
Speaking to a crowd of security firm executives and government officials gathered in Ottawa to discuss border security and international trade, Paul Rosenzweig, acting assistant secretary of homeland security, admitted that "coming to Canada to talk about border security is a bit of a hard sale."
But he said pure economics dictate the need for closer co-operation.
"With $1.4 billion in daily trade between the two countries, synchronizing border security is key to strengthening the Canada-U.S. relationship," he said.
Mr. Rosenzweig went over a number of areas where he believes the United States and Canada need to step up efforts in order to synchronize law enforcement initiatives and ensure more effective border crossings for travelers and commercial goods.
Advanced passenger screening, integrated biometrics databases, co-ordinated risk assessments, and sea container inspections are all issues where an asymmetrical perception of security is sometimes hindering progress, he said.
But resolving some of those issues will take negotiation, Mr. Rosenzweig added, especially as the security atmosphere is different on either side of the border.
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff last month pulled out of discussions >>> Read More
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