Top level joint consultations with stakeholders on cross border business aimed at increasing efforts to facilitate business travel between the United States and Canada are to take place.
As outlined in the United States/Canada Beyond the Border Action Plan, announced by President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Stephen Harper in December 2011, the joint consultations will receive comments on the implementation of commitments included in the Action Plan and identify and assess new ways to facilitate cross border business travel in the short and medium terms.
‘The government’s top priority remains jobs, growth and long term prosperity. These consultations will help improve cross border trade and bring greater economic benefits to both Canada and the United States,’ said Vic Toews, Canada’s Minister of Public Safety.
‘Billions of dollars worth of goods and hundreds of thousands of people cross our shared border every day. We want to hear directly from businesses on both sides of the border about how cross-border business travel could improve. We especially want to hear fresh ideas,’ explained Jason Kenney, minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturism.
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano said her team is committed to working with the Canadians to facilitate cross border business.
‘We aim to strengthen the economies of both our countries. Through these joint consultations, we will receive direct feedback from businesses on how we can improve travel and trade at the border,’ she added.
Secretary Napolitano has attended the first joint consultation between representatives from several major companies and industry associations in Washington. Kenney will attend the joint consultation in Toronto on 24 May.
Consultations will be facilitated by the Migration Policy Institute, a non profit, non partisan think tank based in Washington D.C.
Stakeholder comments regarding commitments made by the Canadian and US governments to facilitate the conduct of cross border business in the Action Plan, as well as recommendations for additional improvements, are being accepted online until 15 June 2012.
A report on this process will be distributed to stakeholders and will be available on the DHS and Citizenship and Immigration Canada websites once consultations have been completed.