August 21, 2007 16:19 ET

Canadian Chamber Welcomes Progress at Leaders' Summit, But Calls for Greater Sense of Urgency

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 21, 2007) - The SPP leaders' summit concluded today with good progress, but much more needs to be done. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce supports regular exchanges among the three leaders and looks forward to the now-annual meetings. The Canadian Chamber welcomes the commitments on a number of Chamber priorities.

1. Smart and Secure Borders: An agreement to develop and coordinate the management of the movement of goods and people during a border incident; promoting a seamless operation at the Canada-US border; expanding NEXUS and FAST; and renewed commitment to enhancing capacity at Windsor-Detroit.

2. Regulatory Framework: Commitment to strengthen cooperation and help remove the thousands of small differences undermining North American job creators. Specific sectors such as automotive and ICT were identified for action, providing an opportunity to measure progress at the next Leaders Summit.

3. Counterfeiting and Piracy: It is very encouraging to see an Intellectual Property Action Strategy, designed to combat counterfeiting and piracy, identified as one of the top North American priorities. It is vital to implement the SPP commitment for a Fake Free Americas. This includes implementing the strong recommendations found in the two Parliamentary committee reports from this spring.

4. Environmental Technologies: An integrated approach to climate change and air pollution along with the development of clean and sustainable energy; cooperation on auto fuel efficiency standards; and the development and employment of new environmental technologies will enhance a sustainable and competitive North America.

The Chamber welcomed discussions by Prime Minister Harper and President Bush on improving the implementation on the US Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) and the ongoing, strong commitment to a successful and ambitious outcome to the WTO negotiations.

"Today's announcements were another important step forward for the three countries," says Perrin Beatty, Canadian Chamber of Commerce President and CEO. "However, the pace of progress is still too slow. North American businesses are still confronted by a border that is becoming thicker, stickier and more costly. We urgently need to make greater progress.

"We are facing global challenges from economies like China, India and Europe that are putting our competitiveness to the test. There is no turning back. The global marketplace only gets fiercer from here, and our three countries must work in partnership to protect the prosperity of our citizens and businesses".

Contact Information

  • Canadian Chamber of Commerce
    Katie Anderson
    Director, Communications
    Office: 613-238-4000 ext. 231
    Cell: 613-797-1860