Canadian International Council

Canadian International Council

November 25, 2008 10:55 ET

Increased Regulatory and Security Measures on the Canada-U.S. Border Adversely Affecting Both Countries

Report calls for urgent establishment of new institutions designed to manage border more intelligently

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 25, 2008) - As North America confronts the greatest economic crisis in 70 years, the regulatory and security measures on the Canada - U.S. border are negatively affecting both countries' ability to maintain their competitive edge in an era of global financial crisis and emerging economies.

The report issued by the Canadian International Council (CIC) today calls for the urgent establishment of a Permanent Joint Border Commission (PJBC) to address the alarming economic consequences by the increased regulatory fees and security measures implemented after 9/11.

The report, entitled "A New Bridge for Old Allies," reviews the current border issues within a framework of three pillars: security, transportation strategy, and economic competitiveness and innovation. It calls for the leaders of Canada and the incoming U.S. administration to urgently establish three corresponding programs: Regional Secure Space Initiative, a Joint Transportation Strategy and a Bi-national Regulatory Council under the auspices of the PJBC.

"Regional economic integration is the dominant trend in Europe, Asia and Africa," says Michael Kergin, former Canadian Ambassador to the United States and the chair of the CIC Border Issues Working Group that wrote the report. "Canada and the U.S. appear to be moving in the opposite direction with serious consequences at these challenging economic times. The auto industry, currently facing unprecedented financial challenges, is an example of a sector which has been adversely affected by the layering of border measures."
"A New Bridge for Old Allies" calls for the establishment of new institutions that are designed to manage the border more intelligently and restore the benefits of competitive advantage that Canada and the U.S. have enjoyed for so long.

It also calls for Canadian officials to engage in a more aggressive public relations strategy to deal with perception the country is weak on security. The report urges the U.S. to work collaboratively with its Canadian partner to speed the flow of legitimate trade and people across the border.

The CIC borders report was co-authored by Michael Kergin, former Canadian Ambassador to the U.S. and the head of CIC's Border Issues Working Group, and Birgit Matthiesen, CIC Senior Research Associate and currently Special Advisor to the President (U.S. Government Relations), Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters.

CIC research aims to contribute new perspectives and discussion in vital areas of Canadian foreign policy. The program's initial areas of focus for 2008-09 include: China, border issues, Arctic sovereignty and security and energy.

For more information on the CIC or to download this report, please visit www.canadianinternationalcouncil.org.

The Canadian International Council (CIC) is a non-partisan, nationwide council established to strengthen Canada's role in international affairs. With 13 branches nationwide, part of the CIIA national branch network, CIC seeks to advance research, discussion and debate on international issues by supporting a Canadian foreign policy network that crosses academic disciplines, policy areas, and economic sectors. The CIC features a privately funded fellowship program, supported by a network of issue-specific working groups. Carefully selected CIC fellows focus on important foreign policy issues, working out of universities and research institutions across the country. The CIC was founded in 2007 by Jim Balsillie, co-CEO of RIM (Research In Motion).

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