Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Mr. Obama, Tear Down That Border

(Patrick Grady — Financial Post)

The Canadian government must start to engage the new Barack Obama administration at the highest level to make our border more open and secure via a concrete package of proposals.

The initiative should be done bilaterally, and not trilaterally along with Mexico through the Security and Prosperity Partnership. Our border issues are not the same. With Mexico the U. S. focus is on illegal immigration; with Canada it is on security.

Since Sept. 11, 2001, when security came to trump trade because of U. S. fears of another terrorist attack, the border has thickened. Canada-U. S. trade has stagnated and the growth of Canadian exports of goods to the United States in current dollars declined from $334.1-billion in 2000 to $331.4-billion in 2007. As a share of GDP, the decline was much more dramatic with exports of goods to the United States falling from 31% in 2000 to 21.6%. Read more here.