Changes in U.S. immigration could be good news for Vancouver Tech

For decades U.S. companies have sought out and successfully recruited talented foreigners to work for their American based businesses in a specialized, specific capacity. Classified under H-1B visa immigration status, “which helps employers hire foreign-born workers for high-skilled, high-paid jobs,” said Seattle immigration attorney Tahmina Watson, she’s seeing a ‘seismic shift’ in visa approvals, reports Geekwire in its December 2017 article.

Seattle corporate immigration attorney, Lola Zakharova says, ‘the spike in H-1B rejections’ is related to President Trump’s executive order titled, “Buy American, Hire American” which reportedly tasks the Departments of Labor, Justice, Homeland Security and State “to suggest policies to reduce fraud and abuse of the H-1B visa,” reports Geekwire.

These changes could be a further boon for tech development in Vancouver, already underway with the “Innovation Corridor” initiative started in 2016, says Jim Pettinger, President of UCanTrade, Inc.

Vancouver, BC

Vancouver, B.C. (photo credit: Josiah Coates)

As reported by the New York Times in their October 2016 article, “Next Big Tech Corridor? Between Seattle and Vancouver, Planners Hope” , Microsoft president, Brad Smith said, ‘[Canada’s] more open immigration policies [were] an important factor’ in its reported $120 million investment in new Vancouver offices back in June 2016. Microsoft was reportedly aiming to hire more than 750 people in the city.

Microsoft’s commitment to the Cascadia Innovation Corridor appears to have ‘deepened’ as it has reportedly backed a Seattle-Vancouver high speed rail study which was announced at the second Cascadia Innovation Corridor conference, held in Seattle this past September. “By linking our two cities together through cross-border collaboration, research, funding and educational opportunities,” said Smith, “we will spur new economic activity and opportunity that creates a better future for everyone.”

TradeTips blog is published by UCanTrade, Inc., your cross-border experts since 1984.

Subscribe to our TradeTips Newsletter for the latest import/export events and trade news, and/or call us at (360) 380-6900.

UCanTrade
Website: www.UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: info@UCanTrade.com
Twitter: @UCanTrade

Peace Arch Monument

You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who lives and/or works as we do, in Ferndale just south of Blaine, WA and/or (South) Surrey, British Columbia (a suburb of Vancouver, B.C.), who does not know where and what IS the Peace Arch Monument.

While many know and recognize the Peace Arch as a prominent, brilliant white archway that sits in the middle of a shared cross-border park and marks the international border crossing between the United States and Canada, few know its rich and relevant history.

Dedicated on September 6th, 1921 (… the same date the Mayflower left England in 1620), the Peace Arch ‘commemorates the signing of the Treaty of Ghent in 1814′, ending the war of 1812 between Great Britain (Canada is a commonwealth nation, formally the Great Britain Commonwealth) and the United States. It continues today to be a symbol of peace all along the pacific corridor.

Fun Fact: A piece of wood from the Mayflower was placed inside the Peace Arch during its construction. It’s situated behind the corresponding bronze plaque displayed on the outside of the arch.

Watch this excerpt  – or better yet, the whole documentary(!) produced by the International Peace Arch Association’s* called, “The Peace Arch Rises” and learn more about “Cascadia’s” iconic landmark of unity.

(Excerpt starts at 2:06; Dedication at 8:24; Full Documentary – 22:58)

*Formerly known as the United States Canada Peace Arch Association (USCPAA)  Copyright 1996-2016.

TradeTips blog is published by UCanTrade, Inc., your cross-border experts since 1984.

Subscribe to our TradeTips Newsletter for the latest import/export events and trade news, and/or call us at (360) 380-6900.

UCanTrade
Website: www.UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: info@UCanTrade.com
Twitter: @UCanTrade

 

Focus, Focus, Focus

During the recent Doing Business in the USA seminar held in Langley, B.C. June 9, 2016, cross-border veteran, Jim Pettinger detailed practical, affordable marketing strategies for small business owners and entrepreneurs interested in expanding their business into the USA.

Pettinger, president and C.E.O. of UCanTrade, Inc., provides Canadian
businesses, particularly those in British Columbia, with USA business
and logistics services from his Ferndale, WA warehouse, located just
south of the Peace Arch border crossing.

UCanTrade.com

He advised the group of attendees, made up of SMEs, small business owners, and entrepreneurs, to ‘think domestically’ when selling goods and services to the U.S.A., adding the “number one obstacle is not the border, it’s dialing in on a target market.”  (Related Article: Five Strategies for Expanding Your Business to the USA)

TradeTips blog is published by UCanTrade, Inc., your cross-border experts since 1984.

Subscribe to our TradeTips Newsletter for the latest import/export events and trade news, and/or call us at (360) 380-6900.

UCanTrade
Website: www.UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: info@UCanTrade.com
Twitter: @UCanTrade

You Can Trade! We Want To Help.

At UCanTrade, Inc., we exist to help Canadian companies market and distribute their goods and services profitably to the U.S.A.  We aim to assist them in removing any ‘border barriers’ and to provide them with a low cost, fully equipped and fully staffed extension of their Canadian office on the American side of the border.

U.S. based third-party logistics (3PL) service providers, like UCanTrade, Inc., offer Canadian exporters many benefits. Here’s a list of our ‘Top Ten’:

  1. Reduce Operating Costs: Our shared resources can save you as much as 80% of the cost of setting up an independent office.
  2. Increase Marketing Productivity: By delegating the “back-end” of their business to UCanTrade, our clients increase their USA marketing productivity by up to 20% or more.
  3. Improve Prospect Response: A U.S. office will increase sales response, enhance your credibility, and generate confidence.
  4. Increase Sales: By responding to orders and inquiries from your U.S. office you can reduce response time, significantly increasing your selling effectiveness.
  5. Save Time: We know who you have to talk to, what you have to do, what steps you must take to do business in the U.S. We can save you many hours of legwork.
  6. Fast, Easy Startup: With UCanTrade, you literally have an instant office and staff in the U.S., so you can begin operations immediately.
  7. Maintain Control: Our offices are 15 minutes from the border, allowing you to stay in close contact and maintain tight control over U.S. operations.
  8. Minimize Taxes: U.S. federal and state taxes may be avoided or reduced by contracting with UCanTrade instead of establishing an independent office.
  9. Reduce Effect of Exchange Rates: Lower cost U.S. services can be paid with dollars generated by U.S. sales, thus eliminating the exchange rate penalty.
  10. Learn From Others Dealing with Same Problems: UCanTrade has established a community of Canadian entrepreneurs, allowing you to benefit from the experience of others.

Learn how Canadians can earn US dollars (USD) as ‘non-resident importers’ and find additional helpful articles about expanding a business into the U.S.A. here: http://ucantrade.com/articles

TradeTips blog is published by UCanTrade, Inc., your cross-border experts since 1984.

Subscribe to our TradeTips Newsletter for the latest import/export events and trade news, and/or call us at (360) 380-6900.

UCanTrade
Website: www.UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: info@UCanTrade.com
Twitter: @UCanTrade

Know Before You Go

By: Jim Pettinger, President & CEO of UCanTrade, Inc.

The “Know Before You Go” slogan is familiar to most Canadians (and some Americans). Along with “I declare” (Je déclare), it reminds us to make sure we know our obligations at the border when traveling. However, when planning to expand your Canadian business into the USA, it’s important to understand two more specific initial obligations relating to both persons and goods. (Dealing with certain other obligations can usually be deferred until your USA business venture gains a foothold.)

First, make sure you know your (or your employee’s) status as a “temporary business visitor”. The last thing you want is to have your (or your employee’s) name and/or license plate entered into the DHS database (or worse, to be instantly and arbitrarily banned from ever entering the U.S. again!). And second, make sure you have a 100% understanding of U.S. Customs (and related agencies) “release” requirements for any goods (and packing materials) you intend to import into the USA from either Canada or offshore (e.g., products, samples, marketing materials, trade show booths, etc.).

U.S. Customs penalties can be enormous and, worse, you don’t want to lose all those precious initial orders because you can’t deliver your first container/pallet/carton of product.

For more, please view/print Ten Tips for Better Border Business.

TradeTips blog is published by UCanTrade, Inc., your cross-border experts since 1984.

UCanTrade
Website: www.UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: info@UCanTrade.com
Twitter: @UCanTrade

Subscribe HERE to receive our TradeTips Newsletter – Cross-Border News & Upcoming Events in the Pacific Corridor

B.C. Businesses Cut Cross-Border Costs

“Canadian companies want to consolidate several small shipments into a larger one to minimize customs clearance costs,” says Jim Pettinger, UCanTrade, Inc.’s president and CEO. “This is where UCanTrade can step in and provide cross docking services and work in conjunction with our client’s U.S. Customs Broker to expedite this process at a low cost.”

Further, UCanTrade’s state-of-the-art warehouse and shipping facility, conveniently located on I-5 only 10 minutes (24 km) from the border in Blaine, WA, is strategically positioned to help British Columbia businesses save money. Our cross-docking, ‘pick-and-pack’ and third party logistics (3PL) services, combined with years of cross-border experience, give our clients a competitive advantage. By eliminating the border, Canadian businesses lower their shipping and handling costs whereby increasing their profits.

Noteworthy, if you are making acquisitions in the United States, ask your vendor if they offer free delivery to addresses in the U.S.  If they do, call us for cross-docking services and you could save thousands on freight fees and international shipping charges.

Get in touch with the logistics experts at UCanTrade, Inc. today, and find out how your company can save money with cross-border cross-docking and 3PL services.

TradeTips blog is published by UCanTrade, Inc., your cross-border experts since 1984.

UCanTrade
Website: www.UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: info@UCanTrade.com
Twitter: @UCanTrade

Subscribe HERE to receive our TradeTips Newsletter – Cross-Border News & Upcoming Events in the Pacific Corridor

A simple, inexpensive proposal to reduce border wait times.

By: Jim Pettinger, President and CEO at UCanTrade, Inc.

David Davidson, retiring interim director of Western Washington University’s Border Policy Research Institute (BPRI), is leaving us with a challenge to implement a relatively simple plan to issue RFID-enabled cards to about 75,000 “high-frequency” border-crossing Canadian passport holders. He estimates this cost would be about 20% of the cost of adding staffed booths to achieve the same reduction of average wait times. The proposal would not replace NEXUS, which provides the fastest crossing, but would be simpler and faster to implement in the short term because it requires no additional data from the passport holder.

Details of Davidson’s proposal, “A Business Case for Increasing RFID at the Canada – U.S. Land Border”, can be found at the BPRI website, www.wwu.edu/bpri. We encourage all frequent border crossers to support the significant work being done by BPRI by subscribing to its e-mail distribution list.

Subscribe to our TradeTips Newsletter for the latest import/export events and trade news and/or follow us on Twitter @UCanTrade.

TradeTips blog is published by UCanTrade, Inc., your cross-border experts since 1984.

UCanTrade
Website: www.UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: info@UCanTrade.com
Twitter: @UCanTrade

Interstate 5: Artery of Commerce in Western North America

By: Elliott Smith

Did you know: I-5 is the only road in the USA’s Interstate Highway system to run all the way from Canada to Mexico?

At the Peace Arch, BC Highway 99 becomes Interstate 5 and runs through Washington, I-5 Peace ArchOregon and California, passing through virtually all of the largest cities on the US west coast, before becoming Mexican Federal Highway 1 in Tijuana. Uninterrupted twin ribbons of concrete from BC to BC: British Columbia to Baja California.

With Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Diego and Tijanua all on the I-5 corridor, San Francisco is essentially the only large metro area on North America’s west coast that is NOT accessed via I-5.

The full proper name of the US Interstate network is the “National System of Interstate and Defense Highways.” It was conceived by President Eisenhower following World War II as a means to facilitate troop movements and national defense, as well as commerce. Contrary to popular myth, the Interstates were NOT designed to act as emergency airstrips in time of war. Although, small planes do sometimes make emergency landings on the freeway. One such landing occurred near Bellingham in 2012.

In Washington state, Interstate 5 largely follows the route of old US Highway 99, which connected to BC Highway 99 at the Peace Arch. The cross-border numerical continuity ended with the adoption of the Interstate numbering system.

In the US, mainline Interstates are numbered 1-95. North/South routes are assigned odd numbers, East/West routes even. For North/South routes, numbers start low on the West Coast and get progressively higher. For East/West routes, numbers start low closer to the Mexican border and get higher the closer to the Canadian border.I-5

As such, I-5 is the lowest numbered North/South route, and I-95, which links the East Coast from Maine to Florida is the highest. Interstate 10 is the southernmost East/West route, linking California and Florida. Interstate 90, which runs from Seattle to Boston is the second-highest numbered East/West Interstate in the US, only Interstate 94 reaches closer to the Canadian border.

A three digit interstate indicates a smaller route that links to a mainline interstate. On a three digit interstate, an even first number indicates a loop around a city, an odd first digit is a spur into the heart of a city. In Washington state, for example, Interstate 405 loops around Lake Washington, bypassing the urban core of Seattle. In Pierce County, Interstate 705 is a short spur into the center of downtown Tacoma.

According to the Federal Highway Administration, between 10,000 and 35,000 trucks travel on I-5 every day. The agency predicts that by the year 2035 average daily traffic on I-5 will include 22,000 trucks.

In addition to providing access to many of the West Coast’s major seaports, including Vancouver, Seattle, Tacoma, and Long Beach I-5 and its connecting routes also link most of the West coast’s large international airports. YVR, SeaTac, PDX, and LAX are all located in the I-5 corridor. Additionally, many smaller airports important to cargo operations are located right along the route, including Bellingham International and Paine Field.

Access to I-5 is a big part of the reason International Market Access, Inc. chose to locate in Ferndale, Washington. IMA’s facility is located only 500 yards from I-5, giving our clients direct access to Western North America’s artery of commerce. Trade moves by truck, and in Western North America, trucks move on I-5. IMA’s Ferndale facility with easy access to I-5 is ideally suited to handle cross-border shipping and logistics, with quick connections to all major sea and airports in the Lower Mainland and Puget Sound region.

Trade Tips Blog is published by International Market Access, Inc.

International Market Access, Inc.
USA Business Identity, Warehousing and Fulfillment Services
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: tradetips@ucantrade.com


Dr. Chris Sands: “Smart Borders” need more education

By: Elliott Smith and Jim Pettinger

Chris Sands has big ideas for improving border policy and boosting trade between the US and Canada. Dr. Sands spoke recently at WesternWashingtonUniversity where he is serving as Ross Distinguished Professor of Canada-US Relations.

Dr. Chris Sands. (Photo: courtesy Western Washington University)

Sands emphasizes that there has been much talk in recent years about so-called “smart borders,” relying more heavily on advanced technology, but there is a need to “educate” those “smart borders.” What he means is that it’s important for policymakers and stakeholders to understand the recent history of Canada/US Border diplomacy and policy in an era of increasing technological complexity and ongoing bilateral discussion about the future of border policy.

Border progress tracks US presidential terms in office

Sands finds US Presidential administrations a useful way to break up the periods of recent border history. It was in the Clinton years – the mid-1990s – that a conversation about borders came to the forefront of US political discourse. NAFTA was ratified in that era, and a number of NAFTA working groups were created, along with side agreement institutions in an attempt to harmonize standards continent wide (US/Canada/Mexico). The Problem was NAFTA was politically unpopular, so US civil servants were disinterested in sticking their necks out to get rid of American standards. As such little progress was made towards harmonizing product standards and regulations, an important NAFTA goal in the effort to streamline and foster trade.

The 1996 Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act in the United States was another significant Clinton-era development that affected border policy with Canada. The Act, which was drafted in response to California’s Proposition 187, contained the highly controversial Section 110, which required entry and exit recordkeeping at America’s borders. Canada strongly objected because, among other things, entry/exit tracking on paper forms would have slowed things down at the border. Canadian diplomacy was able to stave off implementation of section 110 for Canada.

Lessons of the Clinton years

Several lessons came out of the Clinton years. When the political cost was not too high, policymakers learned to engage in trilateralism. Otherwise, dual bilateralism was pursued. They learned to rebuild trust with limited, transparent initiatives. And they learned to avoid Congress. They also learned to emphasize Canada to avoid the US Political complications of including Mexico. Policymakers also learned in the Clinton years the importance of including stakeholders and civil society in border and trade initiatives.

Congress was poisoned by anti-Mexico sentiment, so Clinton avoided Congress for these issues. An attempt to unite US/Canada and US/Mexico Interparliamentary Groups was opposed by Clinton because it would drag the US/Canada agenda backwards by including Mexico.

Bush era continues momentum

The George W. Bush years saw the implementation of the Container Security Initiative, co-locating US and Canadian Customs authorities at ports like Montreal, Seattle and Tacoma, and then expanded abroad to places like Rotterdam. There was an effort at initiatives based on a “perimeter” concept for the continent that largely failed, largely due to their massive unpopularity in Canada. The substitute was “Smart Border Agreements” made up of concrete initiatives that had been advanced during the Clinton dialogues. Experience showed that focusing on concrete items was better.

During this time the US also created US NORTHCOM to coordinate military defense of the North American continent. This was not a treaty, but rather an American military creation with a liaison relationship with the Canadian and Mexican militaries. NORTHCOM was created unilaterally by the US, and was not received warmly by Mexico and Canada.

Another development of the Bush Era was the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP). This enterprise had political buy-in from the highest levels, so civil servants were willing to stick their necks out and engage. But the SPP’s lack of transparency quickly became problematic. It led ordinary citizens to think their governments were plotting the NAFTA superhighway, or something nefarious. Businesses were also not included. To have representation, the business community created the North American Competitiveness Council, which led to an invitation to participate in SPP.

Bush era adds more lessons

In the Bush era, policymakers learned the importance of linking the border and the economy. They came to understand the importance of having a transparent process, unlike a trade negotiation, and the need to have an open, renewable agenda. The Bush years also followed the Clinton pattern of keeping Congress out, and using the Cabinet instead. But Bush, unlike Clinton, wanted trilateralism to maximize US resources; when spending political capital the Bush Administration sought to maximize bang for buck.

Obama adds more chapters to the lesson book

The Obama Administration’s interaction with border issues got started in the Trilateral Guadalajara summit in 2009. The participants agreed that SPP had become a lightning rod that should be replaced with 10 specific projects. The participants also agreed to a Canadian principle “three can talk, two can walk” meaning that the US, Mexico and Canada can all openly talk about issues, but the US and Canada could move ahead together as a pair on a certain item if ready.

The Obama years have also seen a rise in dual bilaterlalism, such as the Clean Energy Dialogues and the North American Leaders Summit (NALS).

Lessons so far from the Obama Administration’s first term show that the American preference for trilateralism remains, but otherwise pursue dual bilateralism to conserve the President’s time and energy. Policymakers have learned to rebuild trust with practical, transparent, limited initiatives. Like its predecessors, the Obama Administration retains a penchant for avoiding Congress, and using the Cabinet instead. Slow and steady to preserve progress is a guiding principle for Obama administration policymakers. And Obama has been careful to make sure North American cooperative issues aren’t a lightning rod.

Dr. Sands’ report card  – progress, but more education needed

Dr. Sands notes that two of his recommendations have been adopted recently by American policymakers: having a two speed approach to the Mexican and Canadian borders, and making stakeholder outreach a priority for customs port directors.

According to Sands, there remains room for improvement in policy development. Of specific interest to Trade Tips readers, Sands says that greater involvement of the business community has to be achieved by policymakers. Additionally, Congress will have to be involved to some degree, because Congress can block progress if it dislikes the results that the Administration produces. “Plus,” says Dr. Sands, “Congress will have to fund new initiatives and the spread of best practices border-wide.” New initiatives have to have replicability, those ideas that can be reproduced easily are the “low hanging fruit” of improvement in border policy. There have also been numerous cases of pilot projects being prolonged; border agencies need to take ideas border-wide, and not just focus on pilots. New border management ideas need to have portability too, policymakers ought to think in terms of multiple fronts, one border logic. This is a slight adjustment to the Bush Administration’s logic, which held there ought to be “no low point in the fence” because that’s where the country would be vulnerable.

Dr. Sands notes that the model of NORAD and similar bi-national institutions ought be emulated for crafting innovative new border policy going forward. The most successful bilateral decisions, he noted, are de-politicized and made by joint US/Canada operations like the International Joint Commission, NORAD and the International Boundary Commission. These institutions don’t delegate up to officials, they delegate down to their own civil servants.

Another major goal for boosting US/Canada trade is to have regulatory cooperation as the “given,” or expected outcome, and let civil servants work out the details. In order to most efficiently accomplish this, Sands recommends a “Regulatory Big Bang”, declaring that by 2025 all products approved as safe in the US would be automatically be approved as safe in Canada. And, all products certified for safe sale in Canada would be recognized as such in the US. This, Sands argues, would turn regulatory negotiations upside down for greater efficiency. Such a framework would create a “negative list” where civil servants could say “Wait, not in this area, the Canadian standard is deficient here,” for example.

Increased productivity from the public sector is also needed to boost Canada/US trade. More work will have to be done with existing staff and institutional resources. For example, Sands cites the long backlog that exists for US automobile crash testing. The waiting period for an automobile manufacturer to get a vehicle crash-tested in the United States is quite long, as American resources in this area are stretched thin. The Canadian crash testers on the other hand, are quite well staffed. What if, says Sands, cars could be crash-tested in one country, and approved in the other? Ideally, a common set of standards could be adopted, but in the meantime, Canadian crash test officials could apply both the American and Canadian  standards in their lab and certify for both the US and Canada in one round of testing.

The Automotive sector is a low-hanging fruit for starting this type of binational symmetry, say Sands, because there is already substantial corporate Canada/US cross-ownership in the sector. Further, the people who ride in cars in the US and Canada are generally similar (average height, weight, etc.), so standards could be easily harmonized because the goal – keeping similarly-sized people safe in a crash – is essentially unchanged on either side of the border. Pharmaceuticals are another area where cross-certification has promise. In clinical trials, the observed effects of a new medication on people in Ontario are unlikely to be different than what would be found on people in Massachusetts. Food Safety is another similar area Sands describes as a “low hanging fruit,” and he notes there has been progress in this realm.

Small business need to be involved

As new border policies are crafted, there is also a need to involve Small Business, Sands notes. Small businesses in Canada, the US and Mexico have in common a dislike of paperwork. A problem with some border initiatives like C-TPAT (the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism), is the extensive paperwork required for a business to enroll. If the paperwork requirements were reduced, more small businesses could engage in trade.

Challenges can be overcome

One big challenge faced by efforts to harmonize trade regulations is the fact that many regulations and standards were set up for political reasons in the first place. Canada, for example, has cultural rules to protect Canadian filmmakers, rules that Hollywood would like to see disappear but many in the Canadian film industry very much want to see preserved. But this is precisely why Sands believes in the idea of a “Regulatory Big Bang.” If it were announced that all standards and regulations would be harmonized automatically by 2025, it would force constituencies that believe they have a strong reason for continuing their particular protection to step forward and defend it. Such a process could very well allow the Canadian film industry, for example, to rally support for their industry’s protection, and if a groundswell of political support in Canada mustered to defend and preserve Canadian cultural protections they would remain. Meantime, a myriad of complex differing regulations that have no constituency and no real reason to remain would sunset, and international trade in North America would become cheaper and easier in a plethora of sectors.

An interesting question posed when discussing harmonizing standards on, for example, life vests, or side door crash requirements, or how drugs are labeled, is when do you ask the question “do you trust us?” Dr. Sands hails the Port of Prince Rupert as the model for the future, and the answer to this question. Canada Border Services Agency processes and tags a container when it arrives from overseas. When the container reaches the US border in Minnesota, US Customs and Border Protection trusts that CBSA has done its job and lets it through. NORAD is another good example of binational trust: the Canadian and US military personnel in charge have absolute and total trust between them. It poses the question: how do you get that kind of trust to filter down?

Sands notes that there are two competing models for trust, applied to a trade and regulatory harmonization context. One might be called a Customs Union model: Can we agree on one standard, or one tariff rate. The same model might be called the Defense model: We have the same protocols. This model applied to trade would say that we have the same standards for consumer products, and that we trust you’re competent to enforce them. At the operational level, with one set of standards, less trust is needed. Those enforcing the rules can say to one another ‘All we need is to trust that you’re competent to meet our shared standards.’

The second model, and where many joint Canada/US operations presently are,  actually requires more trust. With separate standards, a higher level of trust is required at the operational level. CBP officials in Minnesota have to trust that their CBSA counterparts in Prince Rupert are competent not only to enforce Canadian standards, but to understand and enforce US standards too.

Dr. Sands is writing a book that will expand on his notion of “Educating Smart Borders,” looking at the history and future of Border Policy in North America. Trade Tips Blog will publish information about where to buy the book as soon as it is for sale. In the meantime, more of Dr. Sands work can be read on the website of the Hudson Institute.

 

Trade Tips Blog is published by International Market Access, Inc.

International Market Access, Inc.
USA Business Identity, Warehousing and Fulfillment Services

Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: tradetips@ucantrade.com

 

 

 

 


 

Beyond the Border 2012 Annual Report Highlights: Trusted Traveler & Shipper Programs Receive a Boost

By: Elliott Smith

The US & Canadian Governments have released their 2012 annual report on implementation of the joint Canada/US Beyond the Border action plan for harmonizing trade & security regulations and streamlining the flow of legitimate commerce across the international boundary. Two highlights in particular include actions taken to bolster trusted traveler and shipper programs, NEXUS for individuals and FAST for cargo.

Obama Harper Beyond the BorderOperators in the logistics industry and businesses with international supply chains will be pleased to hear that the process to harmonize regulations for the prerequisite supply chain security programs in each country has begun. Although FAST, which stands for Free And Secure Trade, is a joint US/Canadian operation, each country has its own program that shippers must join to become eligible for FAST. In the United States, this program is known as C-TPAT (Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism), the similar program in Canada is known as PIP (Partners in Protection). Both programs are designed to enlist the help of private industry in fighting terrorism and organized crime and enhance business awareness of customs regulations. Enrollment in C-TPAT or PIP and subsequent participation in FAST allows cargo shippers to use a special express lane to cross the border at certain points of entry and provides other benefits that make international shipping faster and easier. Harmonizing C-TPAT and PIP should simplify the process of participating in FAST, and facilitate the movement of more cargo across the border.

Both governments also embarked on an ambitious expansion of the NEXUS program, extending eligibility to US and Canadian citizens who reside outside of the US or Canada. The governments also engaged in “enrollment blitzes” to sign up more frequent border crossers for the trusted traveler program, and embarked on several information campaigns to raise awareness about the benefits of becoming a NEXUS member. Locally, the Whatcom Council of Governments coordinated a major publicity effort at the Peace Arch & Pacific Highway border crossings, enlisting the help of local college students on their summer break to distribute information about NEXUS to drivers waiting in long summertime border queues. This information campaign directed people to a new website, www.crossfaster.com, which offers information about both NEXUS and Enhanced Drivers Licenses (EDL’s) and contains information on how to acquire these “smart” border crossing documents.

Working together, the US and Canadian governments embarked on a number of other important agenda items to implement the Beyond the Border Action Plan in 2012, striving towards increasing continental security and lowering barriers to legitimate trade. The full report is available from the White House.

 

Trade Tips Blog is published by International Market Access, Inc.

International Market Access, Inc.
USA Business Identity, Warehousing and Fulfillment Services
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: imawa@ucantrade.com