Obama Administration Releases National Strategy to Reduce Drug Trafficking Between the United States and Canada
National Plan Provides Blueprint for Reducing Illicit Drug Flow by Building on Strong Partnership with Canada and Enhancing Current Programs and Operations
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Michael Botticelli, Acting Director of National Drug Control Policy, released the 2014 National Northern Border Counternarcotics Strategy (Strategy), which sets forth the Administration’s plan to reduce the illegal trafficking of drugs across the U.S.–Canada border.
The 2014 Strategy provides an overview of current counternarcotics efforts and identifies strategic objectives and specific actions that support the goal to substantially reduce the flow of illicit drugs and drug proceeds along the Northern border. In updating and expanding upon the Administration’s first Strategy, the 2014 Strategy incorporates significant changes and additions, such as the inclusion of sections addressing drug trafficking in the Bakken oil field region, where Acting Director Botticelli announced the Strategy’s release, and the emerging threat posed by synthetic drugs; enhancements to the financial investigations section, including the addition of three new action items focusing on partnering with the private sector, targeting virtual currency and electronic payment devices, and targeting trade-based money laundering schemes; the addition of two new action items focused on eliminating public corruption; and significant enhancements to the section detailing cooperative efforts with Canadian counterparts.
There are inherent challenges in curtailing illicit drug trafficking across the Northern border. Among them are the vastness of the border itself, which extends more than 5 thousand miles, as well as the ever-evolving illegal drug production and trafficking trends that confront law enforcement officers. The Strategy seeks to overcome these challenges by building upon the United States’ strong history and shared commitment with Canada. Through integrated cross-border law enforcement efforts, the two countries will leverage existing relationships, programs, and policies; will seek further opportunities to pursue national security by disrupting transnational criminal organizations; and will improve information sharing, enabling more efficient and effective use of resources to curb the flow of illicit drugs and drug proceeds across the Northern border.