Quick Note: In an effort to provide better resource material, I have begun the process of fixing any broken hyperlinks found in past articles.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Canada-U.S. Deep Integration Agenda Continues Unabated

By Dana Gabriel


Canada and the U.S recently issued a joint threat and risk assessment as part of ongoing efforts to further enhance security on the northern border. This initiative supports a declaration by the leaders which will work towards facilitating the movement of travel and trade between the two countries. The Canadian government has announced that they are seeking online public consultation on the security perimeter arrangement. Meanwhile, the country has been thrust into an election with the defeat of the ruling Conservative party in a non-confidence vote. During the campaign, sovereignty concerns associated with the proposed trade and security deal could become a hot-button issue.

On March 10 of this year, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Canada's Public Safety Minister Vic Toews unveiled a Joint Border Threat and Risk Assessment. The report focuses on national security, criminal enterprises, migration, agriculture and health threats to the border. A press release described how the joint initiative, “is a part of a shared vision for border security that Secretary Napolitano and Minister Toews outlined during meetings held throughout 2010, and reflects their mutual commitment to working together to safeguard both nations' vital assets, networks, infrastructure and citizens.” The assessment addresses common threats to the border such as, “terrorism and transnational crime articulated by President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in February. Their historic declaration – ‘Beyond the Border: A Shared Vision for Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness’ – sets forth how the United States and Canada will manage our shared homeland and economic security."

Monday, March 14, 2011

Expanding U.S.-Mexico Economic and Security Cooperation

By Dana Gabriel


There were growing concerns over drug violence prior to the recent U.S.-Mexico summit, along with other issues which have been a source of friction between the two countries. Despite any perceived tension, both leaders showcased their bilateral partnership and vowed to enhance collaboration. They focused on immigration, along with economic issues and took steps to end the long-standing dispute over cross-border trucking. The leaders also agreed to further deepen their cooperation in combating drug cartels.

During a Joint Press Conference following their bilateral meeting, President Barack Obama praised Mexico as a valued partner and thanked President Felipe Calderon for, “being here today to deepen the cooperation that is so essential to the prosperity and security of both of our countries.” He noted, “we’re moving ahead with plans for a 21st century border so people and goods can cross securely and efficiently. We’re working to coordinate and streamline regulations and get rid of unnecessary trade barriers to make it easier to do business together.” Obama also announced, “we finally have found a clear path to resolving the dispute over trucking between our two countries.” He added, “I look forward to consulting with Congress and moving forward in a way that strengthens the safety of cross-border trucking, lifts tariffs on billions of dollars of U.S. goods, (and) expands our exports to Mexico.” Under NAFTA, the border was to be opened to Mexican trucks, but safety concerns blocked the provision’s implementation. In the coming months, negotiators are expected to table an agreement that will include a phased-in program to settle the issue.