OTTAWA, Ont.--The Honourable Lisa Raitt, Canada's Minister of Transport, was in Washington, DC, March 25 to meet with senior U.S. decision- and policy-makers. She discussed best practices, challenges, and options to manage and improve the integrated transportation system that supports economic growth on both sides of the border.
While meeting with U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, Minister Raitt underscored the importance of continuing the collaborative approach to managing a safe, secure and efficient border to ensure the smooth flow of people and goods that is so important to the economies of the two countries.
Specifically, she emphasized the importance of bilateral cooperation on border infrastructure projects, including the Detroit River International Crossing (New International Trade Crossing), and highlighted the need for ongoing joint efforts in areas including ballast water and rail safety.
"This visit has provided an excellent opportunity to advance work on common approaches and measures with public and private sector partners. This work will support a safe and effective transportation system that bolsters the economic growth of our two countries. The United States is a strong safety partner and Canadians benefit from our on-going close cooperation," said Minister Raitt.
While in Washington, the Minister also discussed with the American Association of Port Authorities and the Canadian American Business Council, issues ranging from rail safety and the transportation of oil by rail, to the Detroit River International Crossing (New International Trade Crossing), the most important trade conduit with Canada. She also discussed the actions taken by Canada to ensure the safe navigation of tankers in Canadian waters.
Since the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement, the North American economy has more than doubled in size - from U.S. $8 trillion in 1993 to U.S. $19.2 trillion in 2012. The Windsor-Detroit corridor is the busiest commercial land border crossing in North America. It handles more than 30 per cent of cross-border surface trade.