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Slow border costs economy $8.3 B a year, says study

According to a new report released by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, border delays are wreaking havoc with Canada...


According to a new report released by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, border delays are wreaking havoc with Canada’s economy.

Border delays can eventually lead to Canadian job losses, increased shipping costs and lost production as manufacturing facilities must slow or halt assembly lines as they wait for critical parts or raw materials caught in delays, reports the Financial Post.

The study compiled information from sources in Canada and the United States and is an attempt to put a dollar figure on an issue long deemed to be a problem by Canadian businesses.

The study says Canadian manufacturers rely on U.S. components “up to seven times as much as U.S. manufacturers rely on Canadian content.” Rising levels of trade between Canada and the U.S. over the next three decades will result in a 118% increase in truck traffic, which exceeds the capacity of existing crossings, says the study.

The report predicts that by 2030, delays in the Detroit-Windsor corridor alone will result in direct costs to both countries of more than $17.8-billion a year, and as many as 70,000 jobs lost in Canada.

Rebecka Torn, a spokeswoman for the Ontario Trucking Association, said the trucking industry has historically absorbed the costs of border delays, but that the situation has changed since 9/11.

“The industry is trying to do whatever it can to recover its costs,” she said.

Delays in the cross-border shipments of key raw materials and parts ultimately create uncertainty about maintaining production levels and make it less likely that foreign companies will choose to set up operations in Canada, the study suggests.


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