Kyle Wells is the Canada Desk Officer at the International Trade Administration
Today, the Obama administration and the government of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau released the annual “Beyond the Border” (BTB) Implementation Report. The joint document highlights key accomplishments under the BTB Action Plan launched in 2011 by President Obama and former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The vision of BTB is to enhance perimeter security and economic competitiveness while facilitating legitimate trade and travel across our shared border.
The BTB Action Plan describes four key areas of cooperation between the United States and Canada:
• Addressing threats early
• Trade facilitation, economic growth, and jobs
• Integrated cross-border law enforcement
• Critical infrastructure and cybersecurity
The United States and Canada have made tremendous progress since launching the BTB. Major accomplishments include:
• Signed an historic Preclearance Agreement that will, once in force, enable new preclearance operations on both sides of the border in all modes of transportation (land, rail, marine, and air), facilitating trade and travel for Americans and Canadians.
• Reached 1.3 million Nexus members, as of December 2015 – representing an increase of nearly 17 percent over 2014 and over 110 percent since 2011. Data from fall 2015 show that the majority of NEXUS members using the dedicated commuter lanes were processed within 25 seconds.
• Worked with Mexico to expand eligibility across North America in our respective trusted traveler programs that speed the entry of pre-screened travelers.
• Issued the second annual Border Infrastructure Investment Plan, conducted consultations with stakeholders, and held a series of regional webinar roundtables to help harmonize efforts to move forward with deploying wait time solutions at crossings.
Next week, government officials from the United States and Canada will convene the annual Executive Steering Committee via video conference to discuss ongoing and future work under the BTB Action Plan. For more information on BTB, please visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website: https://www.dhs.gov/beyond-border#