Congressman Bill Owens recently touted the ongoing implementation of the Beyond the Border Action Plan with a publication in the Canada-United States Law Journal. Owens' article, "Beyond the Border: A New Chapter in North American Trade," highlights the relationship between cross-border trade and economic development, in particular the benefit Canada's presence offers in the way of job creation to communities throughout New York.
"Increased trade with Canada means jobs for New York," Owens said. "New York-Canada trade supports over 500,000 jobs in New York, and this relationship helps strengthen northern border economies in particular. We can do more to improve the flow of people and goods between the U.S. and Canada and support local businesses in the process."
Owens' article was published alongside that of Ambassador John Negroponte as well as business leaders and scholars contributing to the Journal's most recent edition: "The New Perimeter Initiative: Will Security Trump Trade?" Owens' piece makes the case that the Beyond the Border Action Plan will strengthen the U.S. and Canadian economic partnership and more efficiently secure the world's longest bi-national border.
Canada is the top export destination for 35 U.S. states and supports 8 million U.S. jobs. Each day, $1.7 billion in goods cross the border, flowing through ports of entry like the 13 border crossings in New York's 21st district. Canadian tourists also play a role in supporting the local economy by crossing the border to shop and vacation in New York.
Owens outlines several policies that will ease congestion at border crossings while enhancing security, including the Trusted Traveler and Trader Programs (such as NEXUS, FAST and others) which create expedited lanes at the border and airports for pre-cleared travelers. Similarly, U.S. and Canadian companies who frequently ship goods across the border will be able to pre-clear their cargo at their point of origin, preventing long waits and enhancing law enforcement's ability to proactively screen potentially dangerous cargo.
"I am honored to join a distinguished group of business owners, public servants and scholars in the Canada-United States Law Journal and look forward to continued efforts to put a spotlight on the potential for greater economic success at the Northern Border ," Owens said. "Raising awareness about the Beyond the Border Action Plan and finding creative ways to increase trade and travel are critical to the long term success of the regional economy."
President Obama and Prime Minister Stephen Harper signed the Owens-supported plan in December 7, 2011 to jointly facilitate cross-border trade while also addressing security threats by coordinating law enforcement activities and resources.