Webcast Recap

On January 28, 2014, the Canada Institute hosted an update event for Beyond the Border's third anniversary.  The discussion focused on the 2013 annual implementation report, which highlights the various accomplishments (and challenges) of the process to date. The program featured David Moloney, from the Privy Council Office in Canada, and Amy Pope from the White House’s national security staff, as well as a number of stakeholders from the business community. Paul Frazer, president of PD Frazer Associates, moderated the program.

Paul Frazer, moderator, President, PD Frazer Associates

Amy Pope, White House’s national security staff

David Moloney, Privy Council Office

Amy Pope began the discussion with an overview of the Beyond the Border (BTB) Action Plan. Calling it an “ambitious plan” which lays out 32 different objectives in relation to information coordination between the United States and Canada, Pope outlined BTB’s main goals. These include: the implementation of advanced screening of cargo and people, the maximization of competitiveness and economic prosperity by facilitating more efficient trade, the safety of citizens with law enforcement cooperation across the border, and a stronger focus on critical infrastructure and cyber security. Pope also addressed the importance of catching threats early, stating that “a threat to the United States is likewise a threat to Canada.” The enhancement of information sharing has helped the United States and Canada become more aware of critical threats to the shared border, including threats from criminals, contraband sales, and pests. Pope went on to outline what actions that have been successfully executed since the plan’s conception in 2011 and what still needs to be done as we move forward.

David Moloney noted that border technology needs improvement to better facilitate trade and ease travel for frequent border crossers. Moloney emphasized the success of the Nexus program in identifying legitimate travelers that regularly cross the border for business, stating that the program has been made more attractive and is heading towards one million users, up from 600,000 when the plan was originally conceived. Furthermore, he asserted that one of the main focuses of the action plan has been “jointly working together making sure we can use information [and] share our programs so that we can ... speed up legitimate trade, legitimate travel, reduce time [and] reduce costs.” Discussing the final pillar of the plan, cyber infrastructure, Moloney concluded that “digital infrastructure is key to today’s world, which means cyber security is a critical requirement for the two governments to jointly work together, to jointly manage threats, and to jointly work with our private sectors.”