Canada is committed to working closely with the U.S. and Mexico to increase cross-border coordination and cooperation. said cooperation during the pandemic has showed the relationship’s strength to deal with adversity.
Speaking at the North American Transportation Forum webinar, Michael Grant, assistant deputy minister for the Americas, Global Affairs Canada, said Canada is committed to being a reliable, predictable, and secure trading partner and boosting trade with the US and Mexico.
As reported by Truck News:
With 70% of North American trade by value, transported by truck, international road transport has never been more important and CUSMA (Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement) that went into force in 2020 has helped modernize trade rules and mechanisms.
Mark Seymour, CEO Kriska Transportation Group, said a great example of cooperation is the pre-clearance initiative ahead of truck arriving at border. He said the Free and Secure Trade program, Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism, Automated Commercial Environment and Advanced Commercial Information have made a tremendous difference getting back and forth from the border.
He pointed out things that have not gone well too. He said the U.S. and Canada were not in sync when announcing the vaccine mandate for cross-border truck drivers, and it may have led in part to frustration that paralyzed the Ambassador Bridge connecting Ontario and Michigan for some time.
Seymour also questioned why, as a Canadian, an empty trailer move in the U.S. is considered cabotage. “It is not something we want to do because it helps us, although it does, but more importantly it helps our customers, and they want us to be able of do that in name of efficiency.”
Radu Dinescu, president of the International Road Transport Union (IRU) that hosted the forum, said it provides a setting where industries and government can discuss ideas. “Road transport plays an essential part in trade, and as trade continues to grow, we must work together to facilitate commerce,” he said.
Like NAFTA, CUSMA will also become outdated, said Derek Leathers, chairman, president and CEO, Werner Enterprises. His trucks operate in all three countries and expressed the need for a forum to voice concerns about the impact of autonomous trucking, electrification, diesel fuel standards, hydrogen fuel, and dual fuel beta tests.
Rojas Martin, IRU’s senior advisor for the Americas, moderated the webinar. He said the North American Free Trade Agreement was established before e-commerce, digitalization, and innovations. CUSMA is an opportunity to modernize rules and processes for cross-border operations, trade facilitation and operational rules. He hoped it becomes a forum to share knowledge for industry and government and offer the freshest information to the supply chain.
Full Story here.