WASHINGTON — A renewed U.S.-Canadian effort to speed cross-border trade by pre-inspecting cargo at factories and other sites within the host country could boost productivity in the auto industry.
After testing the waters for more than a dozen years, authorities are gearing up to put U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers on Canadian soil to clear shipments there, rather than at U.S. ports of entry — and vice versa for Canadian officers.
The effort underscores the two nations' deep-rooted economic relationship and interest in improving customs processes despite current friction over free trade.
"This is really positive news because it shows that U.S.-Canada trade-related cooperation has a life outside of NAFTA, that the Trump administration is willing to work on border management and competitiveness in the movement of goods," said Eric Miller, a trade and government relations consultant who heads Rideau Potomac Strategy Group.
The U.S. and Canada have the world's largest bilateral trade relationship, having exchanged $582.4 billion in goods and more than $80 billion in services in 2017.