Canada, US sign customs and border-crossing deal
(20 March 2015)
Canada’s Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney and U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson reported that the two countries had signed a new agreement to ease traffic at border crossings. The agreement allows for pre-clearance options for people travelling by land, rail, ship, and air. Customs and immigration inspections will proceed in the country of departure, rather than the country of arrival, helping to reduce traffic at busy border crossings.
The agreement will help to reduce congestion in busy border sites, which is an especially large problem for truck drivers, according to the Canadian Trucking Alliance. Maryscott Greenwood, spokesperson for the Canadian American Business Council, was also enthusiastic about the agreement, saying that, “It's dramatic, it's historic, it's a big day in Canada-U.S. relations.”
The agreement is part of the Beyond the Border initiative, a 2011 agreement between Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and US President Barack Obama. The agreement now must be ratified by legislation in both the US and Canada, which is expected to occur in 2016.
Canada, U.S. announce new agreement on customs clearance, 16 March 2015, CTV, http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/canada-u-s-announce-new-agreement-on-customs-clearance-1.2281347
New Cross-Border Deal Between Canada, U.S. To Speed Up Crossings, 16 March 2015, by Alexander Panetta for The Canadian Press, http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2015/03/16/canada-and-the-united-sta_n_6875874.html