A 'bold and coordinated' border
The Centre for Trade Policy and Law, an Ottawa think tank examining international trade policy training and research, states that 'fresh thinking' is needed to go beyond the current free-trade agreement. Some of that thinking includes:
Police, intelligence and immigration agencies need to coordinate their activities and share information.
The U.S. needs to understand that without Canadian cooperation in tightening administration along the border, the process will be frustrating, costly and unproductive.
Mexico is important but not crucial. 'The challenge for Canada is to persuade the United States that it needs to respond positively to Canadian proposals to move aggressively across a broad front, whatever the Mexicans do. If the Mexicans are prepared to pursue a parallel initiative, so much the better. If the Mexicans are not so disposed, Canada should nevertheless press forward.'
Timing is everything. The U.S. will not be as keen to work with Canada after new border measures passed by Congress take effect.
Any initiative to tackle border and related trade, investment, immigration, and security issues needs to come from Canada. Any initiative coming from the United States risks provoking instant, if unthinking and unfounded, hostility in Canadian public opinion.
while the government may be doing what is necessary on a wide range of fronts, most US officials are unaware of these developments and Canada gets little credit. On this file, it is important not only to do what is right, but to be seen to be doing it.
The September 11 terrorist attacks "brought a new single-mindedness to US foreign and domestic policy and marginalized the trivial. It has provided trade and foreign policy with a focus and determination that were notably absent during the past decade, and it has provided Canada with an extraordinary opportunity to pursue common security and economic concerns within the framework of a well-crafted initiative focused on the need to address the border problem."
Source: Centre for Trade Policy and Law