Last week I moderated a panel at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars regarding trade and border security on the Canadian border. You can view a video of the panel, titled “Mixed Signals at the Border: The Future of U.S.-Canada Preclearance Programs.”

Below is a summary of the event written up by the Center:

Summary: Mixed Signals at the Border: The Future of U.S.-Canada Preclearance Programs

The United States and Canada need to work together to “thin the border,” said Kevin McAleenan of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at an event hosted by the Canada Institute. Two panels explored the challenges and initiatives taking place in the United States and Canada to expand preclearance programs. The conference also considered whether lessons learned from implementing preclearance programs on the Mexican-U.S. border, as well as Washington State’s and British Columbia’s efforts to expand preclearance programs for the Vancouver Winter Olympic Games can be applied more broadly to the Northern border. A luncheon followed panelist presentations. Ron Rienas of the Peace Bridge Authority delivered the keynote address.

In his remarks, Rienas stated that the global competitiveness of Canada and the United States has been threatened by their inability to implement preclearance programs and improve border efficiency. North American manufacturing, said Rienas, depends on shipping components across NAFTA member borders multiple times. The recent thickening of the border has made such production more cumbersome and costly, while North American competitors are able to produce their products without such impediments.