Sunday, October 28, 2012

Deepening the U.S.-EU Transatlantic Trade Partnership

By Dana Gabriel


Overshadowed by the upcoming American election are reports that the U.S. and European Union (EU) are working towards launching official negotiations on a deal that would further deepen their transatlantic trade partnership.

According to a recent Reuters article, “Europe and the United States are set to launch trade talks early next year to deepen the world’s largest trading relationship.” It goes on to say that, “An expert group co-chaired by EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk will in December issue a report recommending pursuing talks.” An EU official explained that, “The report will recommend the negotiation of a comprehensive agreement between the United States and the European Union.” Last week, the European Parliament also approved a resolution calling for talks on a possible trade deal with the U.S. to begin in 2013. The U.S. and EU have already made incremental strides with regards to economic integration. With renewed political support, momentum for a transatlantic trade accord is building.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

New Border Regime is Taking the U.S.-Canada Partnership to the Next Level

By Dana Gabriel


The Beyond the Border deal announced in December 2011 represents the most significant step forward in U.S.-Canada cooperation since NAFTA. Dual action plans are further transforming trade, regulatory and security relations between both countries. Over the next few years, various cross-border initiatives will be rolled out, with some beginning as pilot programs. The U.S. and Canada have laid the framework for a new border regime which is taking their partnership to the next level and pushing the continent closer to a fully integrated North American security perimeter.

The Department of Homeland Security and Canada Border Services Agency recently announced the Phase I pilot of the Entry/Exit program which is part of the Beyond the Border action plan. It will include collecting and exchanging biographic information of third-country nationals, permanent residents of Canada, and lawful permanent residents of the U.S. at four selected land border ports of entry. A fact sheet stressed how this, “is an important step as both countries move towards a coordinated entry/exit system that will strengthen border and immigration programs, support law enforcement, and accelerate the legitimate flow of people and goods into Canada and the United States and across our common border.” The Canadian government is also advancing plans to use biometrics for immigration and border security that would bring them in line with the U.S. and other countries. The perimeter security agreement called for implementing, “systematic and automated biographic information-sharing capability by 2013 and biometric information-sharing capability by 2014.” A North American biometric identification system could be used to restrict, track and trace our movements.