News / USA

US, Canada Announce Trade, Security Deals

President Barack Obama (r) and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper at the White House complex Dec. 7, 2011.
President Barack Obama (r) and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper at the White House complex Dec. 7, 2011.
Kent Klein

The United States and Canada have announced deals to ease the flow of trade between them and improve security on their common border.  President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper met Wednesday at the White House.

The U.S. and Canada have the world’s largest bilateral trading relationship, with more than $1.1 trillion in trade and investment crossing the border last year.

The two countries’ leaders have announced two agreements which President Obama said will further streamline cross-border trade and improve their common security.

“Put simply, we are going to make it easier to conduct the trade and travel that creates jobs, and we are going to make it harder for those who would do us harm and threaten our security," said President Obama.

Mr. Obama said more than 90 percent of U.S.-Canada trade passes through roads, bridges and ports, many of which he says need updating.

The president said one of the deals will provide those upgrades.

“We are going to improve our infrastructure," said Obama. "We are going to introduce new technologies.  We are going to improve cargo security and screening-all designed to make it easier for our companies to do business and create jobs.”

The agreement would also boost security along the U.S.-Canadian border, through increased coordination and the sharing of intelligence between the two allies.

The other deal would reduce regulations on cross-border trade.

Prime Minister Harper said the agreements are the most important between Canada and the U.S. in almost 20 years.

“These agreements create a new, modern border for a new century," said Prime Minister Harper. "Together they represent the most significant steps forward in Canada-U.S. cooperation since the North American Free Trade Agreement.”

The two leaders also discussed an issue that has caused some difficulty between them, the TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline, which would pump oil from Canada to the US state of Texas.

Mr. Obama delayed a decision on a route for the pipeline until 2013, after environmentalists complained about the possible ecological impact.

The president said Wednesday he told Mr. Harper it is important to ensure that all questions about the project are answered before the pipeline goes ahead.

Opposition Republicans in Congress say the $7 billion project would create thousands of jobs and reduce U.S. dependence on Middle Eastern oil.  Republican leaders have threatened to approve Mr. Obama’s proposal to extend payroll tax cuts only if he approves the Keystone pipeline too.

The president warned Republican lawmakers not to hold hostage the payroll tax cut or any other legislation.

“Any effort to try to tie Keystone to the payroll tax cut, I will reject," he said.

Mr. Obama also said he is pleased that Canada has expressed an interest in joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a nine-country trade group. Japan and Mexico have also shown interest in joining the group.

You May Like

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid