I’m pleased to announce that the 2014 Beyond the Border Implementation Report was released today, and can be viewed here. When President Obama and Prime Minister Harper first announced the Beyond the Border Action Plan in 2011, they set an ambitious agenda for our two countries to enhance security, speed the flow of legitimate trade and travel, and increase North American competitiveness. As the 2014 report shows, these commitments have largely been fulfilled, most notably by the completion of an historic Land/Rail/Marine/Air Preclearance Agreement that will allow for the immigration, customs and agriculture inspections required for entry into either country to occur on foreign soil. This agreement will reduce congestion at the existing ports of entry and make cross-border travel, tourism, and transportation faster and more predictable.
The Beyond the Border partnership with Canada exemplifies our common goal to make both countries safer and more prosperous. Canada is the United States’ largest trading partner and our bilateral trade is now $759 billion annually.
To build on the successful initiatives from the 2011 action plan and establish goals for the next phase of these projects, we have developed joint forward plans, which are included as an annex to the 2014 implementation report.
Some of the other notable achievements over the last year include:
As President Obama and Prime Minister Harper acknowledged when they announced their shared vision for perimeter security and economic competitiveness, the U.S. and Canada are staunch allies, vital economic partners, and steadfast friends. Working together we can continue to build on their promise to enhance our security and accelerate the legitimate flow of people, goods, and services between our two countries to support economic competitiveness, job creation, and prosperity.
Amy Pope is the Deputy Assistant to the President for Homeland Security.