CTA advises Senate to strengthen trade relationships

OTTAWA, (April 11, 2003) — Canadian Trucking Alliance CEO David Bradley took his trade relations message to the Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, which is studying the “Canada-United States of America trade
relationship and the Canada-Mexico trade relationship.”

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

Bradley said the Free and Secure Trade (FAST) pre-clearance system is the key to a secure and efficient border, and the program should be streamlined with other U.S. security measures such as a proposed Transportation Worker Identity Card. “It just makes sense,” said Bradley.

The CTA recently told Today’s Trucking that both U.S. and Canadian officials have expressed support for linking the two systems, but added it would be some time before such a plan would be finalized.

“Canada’s greatest economic asset is the open access to the U.S. market, but as recent events have shown, it can also be our greatest vulnerability,” he said, adding that recent anti-American sentiments from some Canadian politicians may erode the historic trade relationship, especially considering that Mexico might, given current growth rates, surpass Canada as the major source of imports into the U.S. “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 September 11, 2001.”

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