Consumer Electronics Association President Lays Out Plan to Strengthen the Canada-U.S. Economic Relationship, Highlights Keystone and Border-Crossing Trucker Delays

Gary Shapiro, CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), lays out a roadmap for strengthening the Canada-U.S. economic relationship.

And while citing the Beyond the Border Initiative as a solution for maintaining valuable Canada-U.S. economic links, Shapiro laments implementation delays.

Progress may not be as fast as Shapiro and other stakeholders may desire.  But this June 2013 fact-sheet makes clear Canadian and U.S. officials are hearing stakeholder concerns and are making concrete progress on facilitating cross-border trade.

From Shaprio’s November 11th editorial at

Repeated U.S. snubs over the past five years have dramatically cooled our relationship with our northern neighbor, and unless we make some changes fast, we could find we have pushed away our biggest trading partner and closest ally. 

The weakening of such an important friendship would be disastrous for the technology industry, and indeed the U.S. economy as a whole.

While we have enacted solutions, like the December 2011 “Beyond the Border” initiative aimed at easing the trade burden between the U.S. and Canada, the process is being held up by Department of Homeland Security bureaucracy. The result has been lack of investment in trade infrastructure and an undermining of our internal trade competitiveness.  

Without a radical shift in direction, the Obama administration’s legacy will be the erosion of trust from and shifting of alliances by our biggest trading partner and formerly closest ally, Canada.

How do we fix this? The Obama administration can take some immediate steps. 

First, President Obama should plan a few visits to our neighbor to the north. It’s well worth his time.

Second, we must approve the Keystone Pipeline…

Finally, resolving border-crossing delays for truckers would speak volumes and could help solidify the relationship. Two-thirds of Canada’s trade with the U.S. is transported by truck, and 80 percent of our goods are imported into Canada the same way. 


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