Industry expects better border efficiency

OTTAWA — Industry Minister Jim Prentice played to the American energy appetite in an effort to reverse the thickening of the Canada/U.S. border.

Prentice delivered his message at the Americas Competitive Forum in Atlanta and noted that border issues since the 9-11 attacks has stopped the two countries from realizing their full potential.

The minister noted that increased security measures are adding unnecessary costs to doing business and could cost millions of Canadian and Americans jobs, which would ultimately undermine the security measures.

"Now, more than ever, we must take advantage of our proximity to each other so that we can reap all of the benefits offered by trade liberalization in our hemisphere," Prentice said.

Prentice pointed out during his speech that not all trade between the countries takes place on the highways and reminded the audience how dependent the U.S. is on Canada’s energy exports.

"Canada is the largest source of energy imports to the U.S. Our annual exports are close to $100 billion," he said. “"On oil alone, Canada has been the largest supplier to the U.S. since 1999 — not Saudi Arabia, not Kuwait, nor any other producer from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries."

Prentice also made note of electrical powerlines, through which $1-billion-a-year worth of energy flows from Canada to the U.S.

— with files from CanWest News Service


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