Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano today met with Canadian Public Safety Minister Vic Toews to discuss the United States' and Canada's shared commitment to protecting the global supply chain, enhancing security within, at, and away from our borders, and expediting legitimate travel and trade that is critical to the economies of both countries.
"The United States and Canada have a long history of collaboration to counter terrorism and transnational crime at home and abroad while facilitating the flow of legitimate trade and travel," said Secretary Napolitano. "We will continue to work with our Canadian partners to ensure the security, efficiency and resiliency of the supply chains and critical infrastructure that are vital to the security and prosperity of both our nations."
On February 4, 2011, President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Stephen Harper signed a historic declaration--Beyond the Border: A Shared Vision for Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness--that sets forth how the two countries will manage shared homeland and economic security in the 21st century. This "Shared Vision" emphasizes shared responsibility for the safety, security, and resilience of the United States and Canada. This approach focuses on addressing threats at the earliest point possible; facilitating trade, economic growth, and jobs; collaborating on integrated cross-border law enforcement; and partnering to secure and strengthen the resilience of critical infrastructure and cybersecurity.
"Canada is committed to improving our shared border with the United States by addressing security threats at the earliest point possible and by supporting economic competitiveness, job creation, and prosperity through improved cross-border trade," said Minister Toews.
In today's meeting, Secretary Napolitano and Minister Toews discussed how both countries will implement the principles of this declaration, and committed to working together to strengthen collaboration with international partners, such as the World Customs Organization (WCO), International Civil Aviation Organization and the International Maritime Organization, to enhance the security of the global supply chain.
Currently, through Project Global Shield--launched by DHS, the WCO, INTERPOL, and the UN Office of Drugs and Crime in 2010--Canada and the United States join more than 60 participating nations sharing information with each other to prevent the illegal diversion of precursor chemicals that can be used to manufacture improvised explosive devices and ensure that chemicals entering their countries are being used in safe and legal ways. This initial phase of this effort has resulted in numerous seizures, including more than 31,000 kilograms (31 metric tons) of chemicals seized, as well as promising investigative leads on the smuggling of precursor chemicals into Afghanistan and Pakistan.
On March 10, Secretary Napolitano and Minister Toews announced the public release of the U.S.-Canada Joint Border Threat and Risk Assessment--addressing a wide range of security issues including terrorism, drug trafficking and illegal immigration, and highlighting the continued commitment of both nations to identifying and mitigating potential threats of terrorism and transnational organized crime along the shared border.