Better Borders for Business Will Aid U.S., Canadian Economies

With the Conservatives winning big on Monday and soon forming a majority government in Canada, manufacturers on both sides of the border will be pushing for modernization of the borders and shipping rules to expand U.S.-Canadian trade.

In February, the National Association of Manufacturers joined our confreres, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, along with the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers’ Association in launching a new coalition called  B3 – Businesses for a Better Border — to achieve those goals.

As B3 wrote in a letter to Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security, and Vic Toews, Minister of Public Safety:

Our intent in forming B3 is to build a cross-border manufacturing coalition to work in both Ottawa and Washington with the key objective of strengthening and growing our highly integrated cross-border manufacturing industries through more efficient border operations and regulatory collaboration and through government trusted trader programs.

It is our hope that by forming a coalition of manufacturing interests we will be able to contribute much-needed perspectives and insights from those businesses that account for the majority of cross-border trade between Canada and the United States. Our aim is to offer advice to governments in both countries on measures that can be taken to improve the security and the efficiency of our shared border and our perimeter.

The Economist magazine reports on B3’s efforts in a review of U.S.-Canadian business activities, “The U.S. and Canada—singing in harmony?,” with the secondary headline, “U.S. and Canadian business groups are urging their governments to coordinate rules and ease restrictions.”

The group is planning to make a pitch after the Canadian election for non-stop border crossing for trusted manufacturers that have been screened by security agencies in both countries. The trucks of these companies could cross the border without waiting for a physical inspection. Instead, their warehouses would be inspected periodically, their drivers would pass background checks, and the trucks could be sealed. “We are asking for something which no one has asked for in the past—a real, true non-stop, non-transactional entry for trusted shipper-manufacturers. Trusted shippers should not have to stop at the border and account for every box in every truck,” said Birgit Matthiesen, the Washington-based adviser on U.S. government relations to the CME. “These are our best corporate citizens, our true trusted shippers, who have invested millions in the security of their cross-border supply chain. Trusted shippers have earned trust.”

More from The Bilateralist, “New Group: Businesses for Better Borders.”

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