Release of the BTB and RCC Reports to Leaders 2012
Reports produced by the US Embassy in Canada on
The Beyond the Border Action Plan


One year ago, I had the privilege of going to the White House when President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Stephen Harper committed our two countries to historically unprecedented cooperation between our two nations.

The Beyond the Border Action Plan committed us to replacing the false choice of trade or security with a new approach to border management. An approach that says we can enhance security for both countries while expediting and increasing lawful trade and travel. The Regulatory Cooperation Council Action Plan identified areas of economic cooperation where we could pursue increased regulatory cooperation, increase efficiency, lower costs, and promote growth and jobs.

On December 14, 2012 the United States and Canada jointly released annual reports to the leaders on these two initiatives. Those reports show that we have made dramatic progress. We've put meat on the bones of our leaders' commitments. We said we would get things done. We did.

I urge you to read the reports, available at these links:

Beyond The Border Implementation Report (157KB PDF)
Regulatory Cooperation Council Progress Report (181KB PDF)

They detail over a hundred achievements that have improved efficiency and enhanced security; shortened lines and reduced time and costs involved in getting people and goods across the border; and begun to eliminate the tyranny of small differences in our regulatory processes that increase costs to producers and consumers.

And that's just the beginning. This is just the first year. BTB and RCC will continue over several years, and we will continue the same level of commitment in those coming years. It will take time and thought and hard work. No single achievement will resolve all the challenges we face. The combined weight of all of them together will improve trade efficiency and security at the border, and reduce the costs of doing business.

I could not be more pleased about our progress, and commend the many American and Canadian experts whose hard work has moved us so far along the road. I thank our friends in the business community who have supported this process with their ideas, and the many members of the general public who have given their commentary and participated in stakeholder meetings.

As I said at the start of this process a year ago, I hope that they and you will continue to hold our feet to the fire to get this done. The benefits to Americans and Canadians that have flowed, and that will continue to flow, from this process are too important to both our countries.

We'll be back to do more in the new year, and until then I wish all of you very Happy Holidays.

DJ


 

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