On Thursday, September 4, 2014, the Canada-U.S. Beyond the Border Executive Steering Committee (ESC) met in Canada’s capital region to discuss progress on the Beyond the Border Action Plan, now in its third year of implementation, to advance key initiatives and to discuss future directions and agree to a way forward in the coming year. The meeting was co-chaired by the Privy Council Office and the National Security Council and included senior representation from the Canadian and United States departments and agencies. The participants of the ESC later held a separate session to hear from Canadian and American stakeholders on issues of consequence to the cross-border business community.
The Beyond the Border Action Plan, announced by Prime Minister Harper and President Obama in December 2011, identified an initial set of priorities designed to enhance the mutual security, prosperity and economic competitiveness of Canada and the United States while respecting each country’s sovereignty and privacy regimes. Already, meaningful progress on the Action Plan to date has led to shorter lines for trusted travellers, reduced red tape for cross-border businesses, and a more secure perimeter.
An observer from the Mexican Foreign Ministry was present in line with the commitment of the North American Leaders’ Summit to have observers attend the respective meetings of the Mexico-US 21st Century Border Meeting and the BTB Executive Steering Committee.
Amy Pope is Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Transborder Security Affairs.