Congressman Owens on Canada-U.S. Trade Facilitation, Regulatory Reform & Recent Northern Border Caucus Event

Congressman Bill Owens led a panel on regulatory reform to enhance the Canada-U.S. economic relationship.

The key message:  Practical steps can be taken to enhance the Canada-U.S. trade relationship, and–if taken–will better position North America within the global marketplace.

Rep. Owens (D-NY) shared this statement with BTBObserver regarding the event:

“Last month’s Congressional Northern Border Caucus meeting highlighted the tremendous opportunity present in the US-Canada trade relationship,” Representative Bill Owens said. “Members of the commercial trucking and shipping industries, other stakeholders and elected officials from Canada and the United States discussed commonsense regulatory reforms that could allow both nations to meet our mutual security needs and help commerce flow between us as freely as possible.  Moving goods, services, investments, and people across the border more efficiently enhances our global economic competitiveness in the 21st century.”

The event brought together key Canada-U.S. trade stakeholders, whose views are shared in this event press release.  Specifically, the press release highlights comments from:

Congressman Kevin Cramer (R-ND), who co-chairs the Northern Border Congressional Caucus with Rep. Owens.

Canadian Member of Parliament Rob Merrifield (who highlights the importance of the Beyond the Border (BtB) agreement),

-Vice President of UPS for International Public Affairs &  former CABC Chair Amgad Shehata (who wrote this interesting 2009 article on the Canada-U.S. trade relationship),

-Senior Director for National Security and Emergency Preparedness for the United States Chamber of Commerce Adam Salerno, and

-North Dakota-based Britton Transport owner Dave Britton.

North Country NOW reported on the event as well:

Congressional Northern Border Caucus Co-Chairman Kevin Cramer, Canadian MP Rob Merrifield, and senior officials from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and UPS joined Owens for the discussion.

“Canada and the U.S. are the largest trading partners anywhere in the world,” Merrifield said. He said streamlining shipping regulations could produce an estimated $16 billion in annual economic benefits. “The amount of trade and the productivity we will gain by getting this right will give us back the advantage as we look to Asia, and Europe and other areas for the real growth that is going to happen,” he said.

Amgad Shehata, Vice President of UPS for International Public Affairs, pointed out that between four and 37 U.S. government departments can stop, inspect, reject or modify a shipment of goods crossing the border from Canada. “The world has changed, and twenty years after NAFTA, it is time for us to review” the government’s paperwork requirements, Shehata said.

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