U.S., CANADA TO INCREASE SECURITY ALONG SHARED BORDER
Antiterrorism officials from the United States and Canada met Wednesday to sign a declaration to create “smart border” between the countries.
The declaration was presented by Tom Ridge, director of the U.S. Office of Homeland Security, and John Manley, Canada’s minister of foreign affairs and chairman of the Ad Hoc Cabinet Committee on Public Safety and Anti-Terrorism.
The Smart Border Declaration calls for the countries to collaborate security measures on four key areas of transborder operations: cargo, people, infrastructure, and information sharing. The goal is to tighten security without hurting the flow of legitimate cargo and people.
“This action plan will enhance the technology, coordination and information sharing that are essential to safeguard our mutual security and strengthen cross-border commerce for the world’s largest binational trading relationship,” Manley said.
Measures pertaining to increased cargo security in the “Secure and Smart Border Action Plan” are:
* Establish complementary systems for commercial processing, including audit-based programs.
* Develop an integrated approach for processing truck, rail and marine cargo away from the border.
* Create criteria for the development of small, remote joint border facilities.
* Share customs data.
* Exchange information and analysis to target marine in-transit containers.
Ridge and Manley agreed to meet again early next year and will consult regularly on the action plan to implement it as soon as possible. Both governments said they would give the Smart Border Declaration their “highest priority.”