WASHINGTON, Oct. 25, 2016 /CNW/ -- Today, the Canadian American Business Council (CABC) sent a letter to the Senate and House leadership calling on Congress to pass the Promoting Travel, Commerce, and National Security Act of 2016, which would fully implement the 2015 US-Canadian Preclearance Agreement. In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), CABC expressed support for the bipartisan Promoting Travel, Commerce and National Security Act because it would "further essential economic and security ties between the two countries."
In March 2015, the US and Canada reached an agreement on a new preclearance agreement, which expands preclearance to all modes of transportation, including rail. The US-Canada preclearance agreement authorizes each country's officials to conduct immigration, customs and agriculture inspections to occur on foreign soil, which will reduce delays at the border, bolster security and expedite legitimate trade and travel across the border.
Both countries, however, need to pass legislation to fully implement the 2015 US-Canadian Preclearance Agreement. Earlier this year, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI), Representative Ann Kuster (D-NH) and Representative Elise Stefanik (R-NY) introduced the Promoting Travel, Commerce and National Security Act, which would ensure that a US government employee or contractor working in Canada on preclearance operations would be subject to US, not Canadian, jurisdiction. Despite the bipartisan support for the Promoting Travel, Commerce and National Security Act, Congress has yet to consider this bill, while the Canadian Parliament is working on its own implementing legislation. The failure to pass the Promoting Travel, Commerce and National Security Act before the end of the year would defer consideration of the bill to a new Congress and Administration and uncertain political and legislative outlook next year.
"The 2015 US-Canada Preclearance Agreement was an important step forward in expediting legitimate travel and commerce across the border," said Maryscott Greenwood, Senior Advisor to CABC. "Congress must now do its part and pass this bipartisan legislation to ensure that the agreement can be fully implemented.
The US and Canada share the world's largest trade and investment relationship, a partnership valued at $1.4 trillion in 2014. "The US and Canada are one another's most important trade partners, and preclearance is an important part of a 21st Century approach to our shared boarder," said Greenwood.
The Canadian American Business Council is the voice of business in the world's most prosperous relationship. Established in 1987 in Washington, D.C., the Council is a non-profit, non-partisan, issues-oriented organization dedicated to elevating the private sector perspective on issues that affect our two nations, Canada and the United States. Our members are key business leaders and stakeholders from both sides of the border ranging from entrepreneurs to best name brands in the world. Collectively, CABC members employ about two million people and have annual revenues of close to $1.5 trillion. The Council's activities include high-level briefings on issues of current concern, assistance with practical trade and policy challenges, significant networking opportunities, and informative seminars.
The CABC Board roster is represented by Air Canada, Barrick Gold, Baxter Corporation, Bennett Jones, Bombardier, Borden Ladner Gervais, Campbell's Soup Company, Canadian National Railway, Capitol Hill Consulting Group, The Coca-Cola Company, Contextere, Dickstein Shapiro, Enbridge, Energy Equipment and Infrastructure Alliance, ExxonMobil, Facebook, Ford Motor Company, General Electric, Google, Harley-Davidson Canada, Johnson&Johnson, Lockheed Martin, MasterCard, Motion Picture Association-Canada, Revolution Organics, Rio Tinto Canada, Shell, Spectra Energy, TD Bank Group, and UPS.
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SOURCE Canadian American Business Council