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6 things to expect in new Canada-U.S. border deal

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6 things to expect in new Canada-U.S. border deal

Old 12-07-2011, 06:04 AM
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Default 6 things to expect in new Canada-U.S. border deal

Here are six things to expect from Wednesday’s announcement.

1. Better aligned regulations: Canada and the U.S. still have different regulations and standards on a lot of products, on everything from vehicles to food to consumer products. Those rules can slow trade or make it harder to make goods compatible, so much so that Harper and Obama set up a separate agreement on regulatory co-operation. Canada expects this agreement to lower costs to businesses and consumers.

2. Simplified, harmonized and streamlined border processes: It's a safe bet that the government will expand existing or introduce new pre-clearance programs like NEXUS, which has almost 500,000 participants. Low-risk people can get pre-approved for travel across the border. It's also possible the government will introduce more dedicated lanes at the border for trucks transporting goods. And a number of groups recommended pre-clearance programs to avoid border inspections for goods being shipped from one country to the other.

3. One entry and exit system: Canada and the U.S. are likely to integrate their entry and exit systems so they can more easily monitor which visitors are moving between countries. Canada will have a better idea of who leaves because they’ll know when travellers enter the U.S.

4. More information sharing: The government says enhanced information sharing will mean a more efficient border because as much screening as possible will be done away from the border. Canada's privacy commissioner urged the government must make sure any information is dealt with according to the privacy protections required under Canadian law. The Canadian Civil Liberties Association called for clear appeal procedures if the two countries move to shared watch lists like the no-fly list.

5. Expanded law enforcement co-operation programs: On a trip to Canada last fall, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano referred to the Shiprider program that lets law enforcement officials work together on shared waterways like the Great Lakes. It's likely there will be more initiatives like this one in the Beyond the Border deal.

6. Co-operation on protecting critical and cyber infrastructure: One of four pillars in the initial announcement focused on critical infrastructure and cyber security. Canada and the U.S. want to improve defences against cyber attacks and make transportation and communication network security stronger. Former Canadian diplomat Colin Robertson, who was on the team that negotiated the North American Free Trade Agreement, wrote in Policy Options this month to expect reinforcement against cyber threats to electrical grids, oil and gas pipelines, and the circuitry for everything from ATM transactions to air traffic control.

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/stor...he-border.html
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