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The fast lane to prosperity: Border deal gives new hope to Made in North America

Published by Derek Lothian on December 07, 2011

Fewer border stops and smarter regulations as a result of today's Canada-US perimeter agreement could save Canadian companies between $15 billion and $30 billion annually, and will dramatically reduce the wall of data separating the world's two largest trading partners, according to Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME).

The deal reflects the key recommendations submitted to policymakers by CME earlier this year, and marks a significant step forward to strengthening security and enhancing global competitiveness along both sides of the 49th parallel.

"This announcement is not about a common border; it is about an integrated economy and our shared vision for good jobs, increased investment and a higher standard of living," explains CME President & CEO Jayson Myers. "Canada and the United States do more than just trade with one another. We build things together. We innovate together. And now we must work together to create a collective future that puts manufacturers and citizens alike in the fast lane to prosperity."

For automobile manufacturers alone, current border realities add an estimated $400 to $700 in production expense per vehicle. By aligning regulations and streamlining border systems, businesses can now expect lower transaction costs, expedited approval processes and improved travel efficiency.

But Myers warns these are only potential savings and that much more work must be done to ensure the plan is fully implemented.

"The economic benefits of this strategy are more significant than most free trade agreements, and should signal that manufacturing is alive and well in North America," says Myers. "Complacency, however, is not an option. Government has laid the framework and now businesses must lead the way in turning a good idea into action and bottom-line results."

Comments from CME members

"The North American market, both for Campbell and the broader food and agriculture industry, is highly integrated. Many of our facilities in the US make products for the Canadian market, and vice versa. And while both Canada and the US have equivalent food safety and regulatory systems, they suffer from a tyranny of small differences that add costs and complexity to the manufacturing and movement of ingredients and products across the border. This initiative will help enhance security while improving the efficient use of resources and the movement of products, reducing costs at a time when commodities and other expenses are at historically high levels."

Kelly Johnston
Vice President, Government Affairs
Campbell Soup Company


"Maple Leaf Foods is very pleased that this initiative will continue to maintain high levels of food safety protection for Canadians and Americans but will lead to reduced border inefficiency and enhanced regulatory cooperation. We look forward to participating in relevant pilot projects and demonstrating the value of this initiative to our company, our customers and consumers in both countries. We congratulate the Canadian and US governments for the progress they have achieved."

Rory McAlpine
Vice President, Government and Industry Relations
Maple Leaf Foods Inc.


"The United States is a very important trading partner for our growing business. We purchase a significant quantity of components from US suppliers, which we then consume in the production process and then ship back into the US market. Bilateral efforts regarding Canada-US regulatory cooperation and border simplification are critical to maintain a cost-effective transfer of goods and services between our two countries, so that we in North America can remain competitive with other international jurisdictions."

Kevin Dow
President & CEO
Schulte Industries


"IBM has heavily invested in supply chain security and trusted trader programs in both Canada and the US, and we are encouraged by the government's commitment to align regulations and regulatory reporting for border operations in these countries. A harmonized system of border operations between the Canada and the US should simplify IBM's customs processing requirements, eliminating redundancies for duplicated entry processing and reporting for other government agencies."

Pat Horgan
Vice President, Manufacturing, Development and Operations
IBM Canada


"As Canada's longest established automaker, the Ford Motor Company has been operating in both
Canada and the United States for more than 100 years. Ford welcomes and applauds the
announcements by Canada and the United States today, which will drive efficiencies for North
American manufacturing and which will also be good for consumers in both countries."

Caroline Hughes
Director of Government Relations
Ford Motor Company of Canada

 

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For more information, contact:
Derek Lothian
Manager, National Communications
Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters
Tel: 613-296-2156
E-mail: derek.lothian@cme-mec.ca

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