DHS Chief Diplomatic Officer, Windsor-Essex Chamber of Commerce CEO Extol Importance of Beyond the Border, Canada-U.S. Relationship

The Windsor Star reports on yesterday’s lunch meeting between Alan Bersin, DHS’s chief diplomatic officer, and  Matt Marchand, president and CEO of the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce.

The key take-aways:  (1) The Canada-U.S. relationship is critical to both nations economic futures; (2) Sequester bite has not been felt, yet.

From The Windsor Star:

“The story of the next 50 years, as we get this right and the president and the prime minister see it, we will be able to compete with east Asia, with the Indian subcontinent, with Brazil, and that will be to the benefit of the Canadian and American peoples together,” said Bersin, a former commissioner of customs and border protection who is attending a Canada-U.S. border conference in Detroit.

Bersin was given a rundown of local issues affecting the border, and Marchand said the focus was largely on expediting the flow of people and goods between the two nations. Bersin is a direct adviser to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on international affairs.

“We talked about a number of issues including moving from the thickening of the border to the thinning of the border,” said Marchand.

“I think the Beyond the Border action plan is a movement towards how far can we operate as a continent, how far can we recognize that we are part of a North America that acting together is a powerhouse economically,” Said Bersin.

Bersin said front-line border staffing in the U.S. has been largely unaffected by the sequester earlier this year, which slashed spending in U.S. federal departments by about 10 per cent. Cuts came in non-front-line areas and Canadian authorities have been kept in the loop on the situation, he said.

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