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Officials renew pledge to ease border delays

OTTAWA, Ont. -- Finance Minister Paul Martin says U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill and his nation remain commit...


OTTAWA, Ont. — Finance Minister Paul Martin says U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill and his nation remain committed to streamlining the Can-Am border.

In a private talk, O’Neill emphatically denied reports a split in the Bush administration over Canada’s approach was stalling bilateral efforts to overhaul border crossing procedures, according to senior Canadian officials.

O’Neill reportedly told Martin the U.S. government is still fully committed to working with Canada to tighten border security while speeding up commercial truck crossings.

“I raised the trucking issue with Secretary O’Neill,” says Martin. “It was a very, very good conversation. He confirmed that he wanted to see the border operate on a more efficient basis than prior to Sept. 11.”

Keeping the border working smoothly is obviously vital to Canada, which does $1.9 billion in trade daily with the U.S.


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