Trump, Trudeau commit to pre-clearance, Gordie Howe Bridge

Posted: Feb 14, 2017 12:33 PM | Last Updated: Feb 14, 2017 12:33 PM

TORONTO, ON – The inaugural meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau resulted in a joint statement by the two leaders. And while the statement didn’t mention NAFTA, it did mention the importance of deepening the relationship between Canada and the U.S.

The statement touches on some issues pertaining to the trucking industry, namely the quick completion of the Gordie Howe International Bridge in Detroit, which is cited as a vital economic link between the two countries.

In addition, the statement mentions the commitment to implement pre-clearance operations for cargo.

“The United States and Canada also recognize the importance of cooperation to promote economic growth, provide benefits to our consumers and businesses, and advance free and fair trade. We will continue our dialogue on regulatory issues and pursue shared regulatory outcomes that are business-friendly, reduce costs, and increase economic efficiency without compromising health, safety, and environmental standards. We will work together regarding labour mobility in various economic sectors,” an excerpt from the statement reads.

In a press conference after the two leaders met, Trump talked about the good relationship between Canada and the U.S., and when pressed about his past statements regarding NAFTA, he mentioned that “tweaks” could be made to better the situation on both sides of the border. The president also mentioned the U.S. trade relationship with Mexico is more problematic than its trade relationship than Canada.

“Together, we address security at our shared border and throughout our two countries, while expediting legitimate and vital cross-border trade and travel. We demonstrate daily that security and efficiency go hand-in-hand, and we are building a 21st century border through initiatives such as pre-clearance of people and integrated cross-border law enforcement operations,” the statement from Trump and Trudeau read.

According to the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA), many Canadian business groups are pleased with the results of yesterday’s inaugural meeting between the two leaders.

“This creates a good foundation for moving forward on initiatives to jointly grow our economies in the spirit of cooperation that has defined the Canada-US relationship for over 200 years,” says David Bradley, Chief Executive Officer, adding that his 4,500 member companies will be greatly relieved by the results of yesterday’s meeting between the two leaders.

“The opportunities to deploy state-of-the-art infrastructure and technology – starting with key projects like the Gordie Howe International Bridge – to ensure that both security and trade facilitation is improved, are immense. We are encouraged by what we heard today,” says Bradley.

Ahead of the meeting between the two leaders the CTA, joined by of roughly 40 Canada-U.S. business associations, companies and policy experts, released a joint statement outlining the general principles that should be followed when managing the world’s largest security, trade, and cultural relationship.

DRIC plan key to Michigan’s economic future: Governor

LANSING – The governor of Michigan says a new bridge between Windsor and Detroit will be a key component of his economic renewal plan for the state.

In last night’s State of the State address, Governor Rick Snyder said a new bridge – as recommended by the Detroit River International Crossing (DRIC) process – will help meet the increasing global demand for Michigan’s ports of entry, and prove essential for trade and job growth.

“To satisfy growing demand, we must move forward towards building a bridge, a new bridge from Detroit to Windsor, The Detroit River International River Crossing,” Snyder said. “We will present a totally revamped and highly attractive economic development proposal including a recent agreement from Washington.”

Last year, a bill approving DRIC was not introduced or voted out of the state senate transportation committee before the Michigan legislative session adjourned. With Governor Snyder’s support, the DRIC legislation will be reintroduced and examined by the new lawmakers in office.

“This project isn’t just a Detroit issue. Every farmer and manufacturer in our state can tell you why it’s important to have world trade. This new bridge will create jobs, strengthen our economy, help establish Michigan as a hub for global commerce,” Snyder said. “So let’s work together so this opportunity does not slip away.”

The project will be funded through a public-private partnership in which the Canadian government’s pledge of $550 million towards Michigan’s share of the cost will play a key part. Last week, Snyder reached an agreement with the Federal Highway Administration to use the $550 million investment towards the matching funds required for all federally funded highway projects.

Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) President David Bradley, a strong supporter of the DRIC proposal, welcomed the Governor’s remarks, saying “This is excellent news and I’m extremely pleased Governor Snyder has decided to make DRIC a priority for his administration. The prospects of getting the DRIC plan approved in the next few months are considerably strong today than they were yesterday.”

However, Bradley went on to caution that while the Governor’s support of DRIC certainly boosts the project’s outlook, it does not guarantee its success in the legislature. “There is still a lot of work to be done to get this through the House and Senate and OTA will continue to do everything in our power to help get DRIC through the Michigan Legislative process,” Bradley said. “But having the governor’s strong leadership hopefully will carry the day. While we’re taking nothing for granted, we’re very optimistic about the future of DRIC.”