WICHITA, Ks. – CTA CEO David Bradley emphasized the importance of U.S./ Canada trade relations at a luncheon held in Wichita, Ks. yesterday.
Bradley was the keynote speaker at a lunch organized by the Centre for International Business Advancement at the Wichita State University. Attendees and speakers included local and international businesses, the U.S. Department of Commerce, and Canadian government and consular officials. “Canada and the United States are each other’s major trading partners and together form the world’s largest and most stable bilateral trading relationship,” Bradley told delegates. “What’s more it’s a two-way street. Canada is the United States best customer – not Japan, not China, not the EU – it’s Canada.”
“But, we need to build on that relationship,” he said. “We need to ensure we have a reliable and predictable supply chain in North America and that means we need to have efficient and predictable borders.”
Two-thirds of Canada/U.S. trade moves by truck including over 80 per cent of US exports to Canada, Bradley said. “We have to continue to strive for improvements at the northern border, to ensure that security and economic concerns are addressed. Clearly, the singular focus on security in the US has had its impacts and created challenges. Canadian truckers understand full well the security imperative and will meet whatever tests come their way, but that does not mean we should not be jointly pursuing solutions that are win-win in terms of trade and security.
“NAFTA has led to an explosion in trade between the two countries, which has been a boon for the trucking industry, there are still some sore spots such as BSE and softwood lumber, but the growth in trade is undeniable,” he said.
But NAFTA has been somewhat of a disappointment in terms of transportation harmonization in areas like weights and dimensions and cabotage, Bradley added. “That whole element of NAFTA more or less went by the wayside when the United States unilaterally decided not to open the southern border.”
Bradley told delegates he hopes recent security and economic partnerships entered into by the political leaders of the U.S, Canada and Mexico, “will get some of these issues back on the agenda.”
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