P.M. assures Germans that border backups are history

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BERLIN, Ger. — Prime Minister Jean Chretien is touting Canada as the gateway to the U.S. while on his trade mission in Germany.

Chretien says Canada’s security cooperation with the U.S. is a major selling point for European investors and that post-Sept. 11 setbacks have been dealt with.

“We have announced significant new strategic investments that will make our shared border with the U.S. more secure,” Chretien told a group of businessmen in Berlin. “That will protect and enhance the high volume and velocity of goods and services that make Canada such an attractive point of entry to the NAFTA market.”

Chretien mentioned that Ottawa’s initiatives include the pre-clearance of trucks regularly crossing the border and the implementation of anti-terrorist laws.

But Uwe Harnack, president of the Canadian-German Chamber of Commerce told the audience that 450 German companies operating in Canada have lost “hundreds of thousands of dollars” from border slowdowns.

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