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CME and its members push for border processes to support competitive, integrated manufacturing

Published by Derek Lothian on October 18, 2011

The following statement was issued by CME President & CEO Jayson Myers:

Earlier today, CME hosted a members-only roundtable with US Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Alan Bersin to push for streamlined and harmonized processes for the movement of goods and people across the Canada-US border.

While Canada and the United States enjoy the most robust trading relationship in the world, we don't simply trade with each other; we build things together. Our manufacturers complete globally together. We are each other's most trusted and secure trading partners. At the same time, over the past decade, each of our countries have introduced a myriad of complex regulatory and security barriers at the border that have substantially increased the cost and uncertainty of shipping people and goods between our countries.

We constantly hear from our members right across the country about the challenges, uncertainties, and costs associated with crossing the Canada-US border. Companies have become frustrated with the lack of benefits available to those that have partnered with governments in low-risk trusted trader programs; the lack of coordination and the amount of duplication between government departments on reporting requirements; and, the overall difficulty and ever-changing requirements faced by business travellers.

Today, with the integration of our industry across North America, border delays and regulatory hurdles cost industry in Canada and the US an estimated three per cent of the total transaction value of trade between our countries, or more than $13 billion annually – costs which are not incurred by foreign manufacturers who import finished goods to market in either Canada or the United States. This puts domestic industry at a competitive disadvantage in its own market.

The border is no longer a physical location for companies. The border has now been pushed back to the factory and into the supply chain with the request for data and paperwork from dozens of government agencies well before a shipment ever sees the physical border crossing. This data must be sent to and approved by each individual agency before shipments can cross. While this might make sense on a shipload of goods from Asia, considering 60 per cent of shipments across the Canada-US border are intra-company, it simply creates a needless pile of data for both companies and the government. This is the thickening of the border that is so often discussed, and there can be great economic and security benefits for doing it smarter and more efficiently.

The meeting with Commissioner Bersin allowed CME and its members to continue to push for its three point plan to simplify border processing that has been supported by industry in both Canada and the US, including:

  1. Harmonize and expand trusted trader programs, including the elimination of transactional reporting for qualified companies;
  2. Implement harmonized government-wide single-window reporting; and,
  3. Reduce barriers to the movement of business personnel.

For the CME's full recommendations to governments for the Beyond the Border Working Group, go to http://www.cme-mec.ca/download.php?file=gopoqqlj.pdf.

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