US Ambassador Jacobson and Minister Bernier (Small Business and Tourism) meet with small business owners about challenges of cross-border trade

TORONTO, Sept. 26, 2011 /CNW/ - This morning concerned small business owners from both Canada and the United States had an opportunity to sit down with Catherine Swift, president of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), the Honourable David Jacobson, U.S. Ambassador to Canada, and the Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of State for Small Business and Tourism to share their common concerns and experiences when dealing with cross-border trade.

"The objective of the roundtable was to provide decision makers with our members real life border issues that can make every day operations more difficult and to determine if current discussions between Canada and the United States are going to address these challenges," said Swift. "Consultation is critically important to my President and our Government. We've made significant progress on trade and border issues since  President Obama and Prime Minister Harper announced their vision for the future earlier this year. The cooperation between our countries on these matters is unprecedented and productive. Every opportunity we have to connect with key stakeholders is a chance to continue this good work," said US Ambassador David Jacobson.

"I was pleased to sit down with small business owners from Canada and the United States to hear about the challenges of cross-border trade," Minister Bernier said. "Canada and the United States remain strongly committed to improving our shared border to increase cross-border trade, economic growth and job creation."

Issues raised and discussed at the small business roundtable included:

  • Streamlining and simplifying processes at the Canada-U.S. border
  • Finding ways to reduce and prevent regulatory barriers to cross-border trade
  • Improving the efficiency of the border to reduce the costs of doing business
  • Incorporating the needs of small business when looking at ways to facilitate trade

"There are many challenges and obstacles small businesses must overcome in order to successfully conduct business across the border. In the Year of the Entrepreneur these discussions between Canada and the U.S. are an important opportunity to make some vital improvements at the border. We hope that both countries are now armed with enough information and insight in order to make trade and border processes more small-business friendly in the future," concluded Swift.

As Canada's largest association of small- and medium-sized businesses, CFIB is Powered by Entrepreneurs™. Established in 1971, CFIB takes direction from more than 108,000 members in every sector nationwide, giving independent business a strong and influential voice at all levels of government and helping to grow the economy.


For further information:

To arrange an interview with Catherine Swift, contact Gisele Lumsden at 647 808-5769 or via email at 

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