BOISE, Idaho — Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) chief David Bradley travelled to Idaho this week to warn Canadian and US legislators that there are still major problems at the Canada/US border, even though they are masked by lower volumes due to the economic downturn.
He was speaking at the Pacific NorthWest Economic Region Summit, where he warned that a return to normal volumes will reveal long delays and less predictability at the border.
“Anything that impairs the efficiency, productivity and reliability of the North American supply chain impacts negatively on the region’s ability to compete, to attract direct investment and to take full advantage of economic recovery when it comes,” Bradley pointed out.
The states of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington and the provinces of Alberta, B.C. and Saskatchewan and the Yukon territory were all represented at the conference. Bradley insisted it’s possible to maintain border security while at the same time facilitating cross-border trade. For instance, the move towards automating cross-border truck traffic has the potential to improve efficiency, he said.
However, he also said there can be “no denying that the border is less efficient than it was before (9/11) and there were problems at the border prior to 9/11.”
“Creating a more secure, efficient and flexible border will require the restoration of a risk assessment focus, real value-added benefits from participation in low-risk trade programs, appropriate levels of inspectors, and strategic investment in infrastructure – and not just bricks and mortar but systems as well,” said Bradley.
And he also said Canada and the US must coordinate and reciprocally recognize security programs on both sides of the border. For instance, Bradley said truck drivers shouldn’t have to carry an assortment of low-risk security cards.