Beyond the Border Report Shows Plan Moving in Right Direction

The Canadian Trucking Alliance has welcomed the federal government’s Beyond the Border Action Plan Implementation Report and anticipates more progress to be made in 2013.

Since the binational Border Action Plan was announced a year ago by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and US President Barack Obama, governments on both sides of the border, as well as industry stakeholders such as the Canadian Trucking Alliance, have been busy putting the pieces in place.

Included in the measures of interest to the trucking industry were, among other things: restoring carriers’ ability to move in-transit in the US; mutual recognition of trusted trader programs; using FAST cards to meet other security rules; pre-inspection and pre-clearance programs; and assessing the impact of border crossing fees.

The report provides a progress update on these and other initiatives, such as a joint border infrastructure plan; an integrated cargo security strategy, data harmonization between the two countries, C-TPAT-PIP harmonization, and a recently-launched pilot program at the Blue Water Bridge in Sarnia that aims to improve the FAST program for trusted traders.

CTA was consulted extensively by the agencies responsible for drafting the Action Plan — the Beyond the Border Working Group and the Canada–US Regulatory Cooperation Council. CTA President David Bradley says he is pleased some of theAlliance’s recommendations are taking shape.

“There is a lot of work here and these things take time, but so far the implementation report shows that our federal government and industry stakeholders didn’t simply retreat back into the shadows after the Action Plan announcement last year,” says CTA President David Bradley. “The Action Plan attempts to modernize the border by improving trade facilitation and reduce unnecessary regulatory barriers at the vital Canada-U.S. border. It’s nice to see that we have made some progress to make that into a reality.”

Bradley says he is hopeful that the report can also create a pathway towards progress on other areas of recommendation, such as liberalizing US rules governing the repositioning of foreign empty trailers.