U.S., Canada continue border security consultations
Tom Ridge, secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, met for the first time Sunday and Monday in Washington with Anne McLellan, the new Canadian deputy prime minister to review progress the two countries are making on cooperative efforts to secure the 5,000 miles of common border shared by their two countries.
Both officials emphasized their governments have made much progress implementing goals of the Smart Border Accord — such as the Free and Secure Trade program for expedited processing of commercial vehicles — signed two years ago after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, but said more work remained to be done.
Ridge and McLellan did not mention during a press conference any specific accomplishments or areas of discussion that arose from their meeting. Among areas both countries will focus on are the need to develop shared border facilities to better support the movement of cargo and people through border checkpoints, according to a transcript of the press conference. Ridge said another area that needs more attention is security for Alaska’s unprotected maritime borders.