Canada-U.S. Border Transportation Innovation in the Age of America First: Moving Beyond Preclearance

There will be a webcast of this event

Event Co-sponsors

Travel and trade across the U.S.-Canada border are staggering in volume and value. Canada is the largest passenger gateway into the United States, with tens of millions of passengers entering from there every year.  Cross-border goods trade was valued at over half a trillion dollars in 2016.  With or without an updated NAFTA, continuing growth in cross-border passenger travel and cargo transport is expected in coming decades. Given future immigration, trade, and terrorism concerns, the imperatives of border security and efficiency are more important than ever.  Artificial intelligence, biometrics, facial recognition, and the use of digital identities could radically transform the future of cross-border transportation, but they also raise serious privacy and resource concerns for policymakers.

In partnership with the Vancouver International Airport and the Public Policy Forum (Ottawa), the Wilson Center’s Canada Institute is hosting a one-day forum on cross-border transportation and innovation on Monday March 26.  Industry, academic and government experts will forecast future growth in U.S.-Canada travel and transport, analyze threats in passenger and cargo transit, spotlight innovations in border management, present pilot projects and identify key issues in forging a strategic vision for the U.S.-Canada border in the 21st century. 


8:30am - 9:15am Networking and Continental Breakfast

9:15am -  Beyond Pre Clearance Welcome

Welcome: Rob Litvak Wilson Center Senior Vice President

Opening Address: Ambassador Kenneth Merten, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau Western Hemisphere Affairs 

9:30am - Canada-U.S. Air and Land Border Crossings: What are the Data Saying?

Moderator: Martin Loken, Minister for Political Affairs, Embassy of Canada in Washington, DC



10:30am Coffee break

10:45am -Technological Innovations in Border Managament: Trusted Travelers, Biometrics, Artificial Intelligence, and Advanced Cargo Screening

Moderator: Alan Bersin, Wilson Center Global Fellow, former Assistant Secretary Secretary for Policy and International Affairs, Department of Homeland Security



12:00pm - Beyond Preclearance Luncheon

Feature Speaker: Vincent Rigby, Associate Deputy Minister, Public Safety Canada 

Moderator: Jim Dickmeyer, Wilson Center Global Fellow, former U.S. Consul General in Toronto, Canada

1:30pm - Getting to the Border of the Future: Policy, Pilots and Pragmatism?

Moderator: Ambassador Paul Frazer. President, Frazer Associates



2:45pm-3:00pm - Closing Comments:  Where does Pre-Clearance Go Next? 

  • Gerry Bruno, Vice President, Federal Government Affairs, YVR Airport 
  • Lynne Platte, State Department Fellow, Canada Institute, Wilson Center