WASHINGTON, D.C. - Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and Canada's Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, Jason Kenney today announced joint consultations with stakeholders on cross-border business - increasing efforts to facilitate business travel between the United States and Canada.
As outlined in the United States-Canada Beyond the Border Action Plan, announced by President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Stephen Harper in December 2011, the goal of the joint consultations is to 1) receive comments on the implementation of commitments included in the Action Plan and 2) identify and assess new ways to facilitate cross-border business travel in the short and medium terms.
"DHS is committed to working with our Canadian partners to facilitate cross-border business, strengthening the economies of both our countries," said Secretary Napolitano. "Through these joint consultations, we will receive direct feedback from businesses on how we can improve travel and trade at the border."
"This Government's top priority remains jobs, growth and long-term prosperity," said Canada's Minister of Public Safety Vic Toews. "These consultations will help improve cross-border trade and bring greater economic benefits to both Canada and the United States."
"Billions of dollars worth of goods and hundreds of thousands of people cross our shared border every day. We want to hear directly from businesses on both sides of the border about how cross-border business travel could improve. We especially want to hear fresh ideas," said Minister Kenney.
Secretary Napolitano today attended the first joint consultation between representatives from several major companies and industry associations in Washington. Minister Kenney will attend the joint consultation in Toronto on May 24. Consultations will be facilitated by the Migration Policy Institute - a non-profit, non-partisan think tank based in Washington, D.C. Stakeholder comments regarding Canadian and U.S. government commitments made in the Action Plan, as well as recommendations for additional improvements, will be accepted online starting today, until June 15, 2012.
A report on the outcomes of this process will be distributed to stakeholders and will be available on the DHS and Citizenship and Immigration Canada websites once consultations have been completed.