Canada and the United States today announced the official launch of the Prince Rupert pilot project that will facilitate greater trade and strengthen cargo security at the Canada-U.S. border as part of the Integrated Cargo Security Strategy in the Beyond the Border Action Plan. The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, made the announcement today in Vancouver with Jim Nealon, Deputy Chief of Mission from the United States Embassy and Anne Callaghan, U.S. Consul General.
"The Canada-U.S. relationship is one of the world's greatest trade success stories and we are working together not just at the border, but beyond the border, to increase our shared prosperity," said Minister Fast. "Accelerating the movement of secure cargo between our two countries by removing red tape and other unnecessary barriers will contribute to job creation, strong economic growth and greater long-term prosperity for hard-working Canadians and their families."
The pilot project, in operation since October 1, 2012, is located at the Port of Prince Rupert and focuses on marine cargo. It is based on a harmonized approach developed by Canada and the United States which allows for the screening of inbound cargo arriving from offshore. As a result, there is increased security and the expedited movement of secure cargo across the Canada-U.S. border under the principle of "cleared once, accepted twice".
This pilot is the first of a number of pilots which will be undertaken by Canada and the U.S. to shape and inform the implementation of the Integrated Cargo Security Strategy. The strategy is part of the Beyond the Border Action Plan announced by Prime Minister Harper and President Obama on December 7, 2011.
"The pilots that will be implemented under the Integrated Cargo Security Strategy are key to the ongoing efforts to facilitate legitimate trade while still maintaining our security mission at the border," said U.S. Counsel General Anne Callaghan. "Harmonization of the cargo screening processes between the United States and Canada should result in a more efficient and secured supply chain and increased competitive economic posture."
Recognizing the benefits of ensuring that trade flows efficiently between Canada and the U.S. while also maintaining high security standards, this project is supported by industry and business groups in Canada.
"The Beyond the Border pilot will introduce efficiencies in cross-border cargo movements, further enhancing Canadian commerce with our largest trading partner, said Don Krusel, President and CEO of the Prince Rupert Port Authority. "And as the site of one of the two Canadian pilot projects, we anticipate building on the Port of Prince Rupert's reputation as a world-class trade gateway."
Minister Fast made the announcement on the calendar day that symbolizes the importance of exports to job creation in Canada. For this year, October 21, 2012, represents the day in the year when the average Canadian worker would no longer be working if Canada did not produce goods and services for export to the world, especially to the United States, Canada's largest export market.
"Exports support the jobs of one in five Canadians," said Minister Fast. "If Canada did not export, there would be 3.3 million fewer jobs, the unemployment rate would skyrocket to more than 25 percent, the incomes of Canadians would fall dramatically and hard-working families across the country would feel the consequences. Thankfully, our government understands the importance of exports to Canadian jobs. That is why we are pursuing the most ambitious trade expansion plan in our history — one that focuses on opening new markets so Canadian exporters can grow and succeed around the world."
Canada and the United States enjoy the largest bilateral trading relationship in the world, with two-way trade in goods and services reaching almost $709 billion last year.
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