Canada must remove uncertainties at border: CTA

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TORONTO, Ont. – Canada’s number one economic priority must be to remove uncertainties at the border, or risk an outflow of direct investment to the U.S., said David Bradley, CEO of the Canadian Trucking Alliance,during a recent appearance before the Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, studying the Canada-United States of America, and the Canada-Mexico trade relationships.

“We have to assure our U.S. neighbors that our border is secure and we have to ensure our customers and investors in plants and factories that their supply chain is efficient,” said Bradley.

“The FAST (Free and Secure Trade) program is the key to a secure and efficient border; the program should be used as the platform for other U.S. security measures such as a proposed Transportation Worker Identity Card. It just makes sense.

“One third of Canada’s GDP is dependent on exports to the U.S. and it is evident that anything that impacts directly on the volume of trade or the ability of trucks to cross the border will have a very immediate and direct impact on the trucking industry and indeed the Canadian economy,” added Bradley. “Canada’s greatest economic asset is the open access to the U.S. market that we have enjoyed for so many years, but as recent events have shown, it can also be our greatest vulnerability. We must repair relations with our best friend and trading partner and we must make sure the border is more secure and more efficient than it was even before 9/11.

“While the trucking industry has obviously benefited significantly from the increased volumes of trade between the NAFTA countries, the trucking components of the agreement have not been implemented to the extent they were supposed to have been. It is unclear how or if they can be kick-started now.”

Trucks carry 70 per cent of Canada’s trade with the U.S.A.. A truck crosses the Canada-US border once every 2 1/2 seconds.

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