Canada will pay a steep price in border talks

Gar Pardy
Ottawa Citizen
September 12, 2011

Last February Prime Minister Stephen Harper and President Barack Obama signed a joint declaration Beyond the Border: A Shared Vision for Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness. The declaration stated both countries intended to “pursue a perimeter approach to security” in order to “accelerate the legitimate flow of people, goods and services” and to do so in ways that would “support economic competitiveness, job creation, and prosperity.”

There was little public discussion of the ideas in the declaration at the time but in recent weeks there have been several supportive opinion pieces on the subject. For example, one former Canadian ambassador to the United States called it “the first, potentially major, bilateral initiative in more than two decades.”

For the most part these articles concentrate on the border issues which “frustrate rather than facilitate trade.” Largely missing from the public discussion is any understanding of the price that would be paid by Canadians to open wider border doors for Canadian trucks and services.

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