Canadians and Americans have a long tradition of working together to promote security and facilitate travel across our borders; to ensure that they remain open to legitimate trade and people and closed to terrorists, criminals and dangerous goods.
For 5,525 miles or 8,891 kilometres, our shared border binds together companies, employees, tourists, sports fans, first responders and border community residents who depend on goods and servicess from just across the way.
The interconnectedness of our countries speaks to the depth of our relationship. Canada is the single largest export market for 34 States. In 2009, Canada's two-way trade of goods and servicess with the US was over $592 billion - supporting an estimated 8 million jobs in the United States. This means that our safe and secure Canada-U.S. border facilitates over $1 million in trade every minute.
Protecting our Borders
Since the September 11 attacks, both Canada and the United States have invested heavily in border security. We are also investing in a border that is our common gateway to prosperity working together to manage a 24/7 border, built around 21st century infrastructure and border policies.
The Government of Canada is always looking at ways to increase security at the Canada-U.S. border. Canada has been and will continue to work in close cooperation with the United States to ensure that our shared border is closed to terrorists but open for legitimate trade and travel.
Canada and the United States have strengthened their joint management of the border on the basis of the 30-point Smart Border Declaration and Action Plan, signed in 2001.This landmark agreement enhanced cooperation in the following areas: the secure flow of people; the secure flow of goods; secure infrastructure; and coordination and information sharing. It has been a model for other countries on how to work together on border issues.
Through ongoing policy development and border investments, Canada and the United States continue to strengthen their border cooperation. At the North American Leaders’ Summit in August 2009 in Guadalajara, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, U.S. President Barack Obama, and Mexican President Felipe Calderón affirmed that our integrated economies are an engine of growth. We are investing in border infrastructure, including advance technology, to create truly modern borders to facilitate trade and the smooth operation of supply chains, while protecting our security.
Canada has invested over $10 billion in border security and emergency preparedness since September 2001.
Key Organizations and Initiatives
Cross-Border Crime Forum
Cross-Border Crime Forum: 2012 marks the 15th anniversary of the Cross-Border Crime Forum (CBCF). The Forum is a joint effort of Public Safety, the Department of Justice Canada, the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. It brings together senior law enforcement and Justice officials from participating organizations in Canada and the U.S.
Through regular ministerial, senior official and working level meetings, the CBCF addresses transnational crime issues such as organized crime, counter-terrorism, smuggling, economic crime and other emerging cross-border threats. It also focuses on resolving obstacles and impediments – primarily with regard to policy, regulations and legislation – faced by law enforcement and Justice officials who work on cross-border crime issues.
Integrated Border Enforcement Teams
Integrated Border Enforcement Teams (IBETs) consist of Canadian and American law enforcement teams that share information and resources to maximize border security. The five core IBET agencies are the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), the Canada Border servicess Agency (CBSA), the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Customs and Border Protection/Border Patrol (CBP/BP) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). They work closely with local, state and provincial enforcement agencies in the fight against cross-border criminal activity.
Project North Star
Project North Star is a bi-national forum that provides Canadian and U.S. law enforcement managers a mechanism to enhance existing communications, cooperation, and partnership between agencies and personnel that operate within the U.S.-Canada border area.
Canada Border servicess Agency
The Canada Border services Agency (CBSA) ensures the security and prosperity of Canada by managing the access of people and goods to and from Canada.