Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, Canadian Minister of Public Safety Vic Toews, and Canada's Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Jason Kenney today released a progress report entitled "Facilitating the Conduct of Cross-Border Business." This report, which is a deliverable of the Beyond the Border Action Plan, describes bilateral efforts to ensure business travelers benefit from more efficient and predictable border clearance processes.
"Safe and secure trade and travel between the United States and Canada supports millions of jobs in both countries," said Secretary Napolitano. "Through our joint efforts with Canada, we are facilitating cross-border business and strengthening our economic competitiveness."
"Our Government continues to look for ways to make our border more secure and more efficient," said Minister Toews. "The release of this report demonstrates the ongoing commitment between Canada and the United States to facilitate cross-border trade in order to enhance the economic competitiveness of both our countries."
"With over $612 billion in annual two-way trade, an efficient Canada-U.S. border is critical for the economic growth of both countries," Minister Kenney said. "We will ensure that cross-border business is efficient by making entry to each other's territory swift, simple and secure."
The Beyond the Border Action Plan includes a number of commitments to facilitate the conduct of cross-border business. Key accomplishments to date as outlined in the report include:
Provided enhanced administrative guidance, training and operational manuals to border officials in order to achieve operational consistency at all ports of entry on business traveler issues.
Established new processes under which certain categories of business travelers may request adjudication of employment and related petitions by the destination country's immigration authorities to identify and resolve potential issues prior to the actual date of travel.
Held joint consultations with stakeholders in both countries in order to identify and assess additional ways to facilitate relevant processes through administrative, policy, regulatory and operational improvements. A summary of those consultations is posted online.
The Department of Homeland Security and Citizenship and Immigration Canada commit to continued annual stakeholder consultation sessions, and are pursuing a number of other initiatives outlined in the report and intended to better facilitate cross-border business.
For more information, visit http://www.dhs.gov/beyond-the-border.