Executive Briefings

Politics Hamper Improving North America's Border Infrastructure

Twenty years after NAFTA, the failure of member countries to invest in adequate border infrastructure is catching up with us. To reverse the drag on our competitiveness, North America needs an infrastructure bank. To this end, Canada should join and lead the transformation of the North American Development Bank.

North America is a supply chain economy. Canadian exports to the U.S. contain an average of 25 percent American content. The average car assembled in Ontario or the U.S. Midwest is built with parts that have crossed the Canada-U.S. border an average of seven times.

Whether due to congestion or inefficient customs processes, border delays undermine our competitiveness. These back-ups can add up to $800 to the cost of a North American-assembled vehicle.

Canada and the United States have begun addressing the red tape challenge through the Beyond the Border process. We now need a real plan to address our decaying border infrastructure. Traditional methods for financing border infrastructure — through budget appropriations — are not getting the job done.

When built, the New International Trade Crossing connecting Windsor and Detroit will provide best-in-class infrastructure for the busiest Canada-U.S. crossing. More trade passes through this one corridor daily than between the U.S. and Japan. The NITC is therefore vital to the economies of Ontario and the U.S. Midwest.

But the project has faced numerous political and financial hurdles at both the federal and state levels.

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North America is a supply chain economy. Canadian exports to the U.S. contain an average of 25 percent American content. The average car assembled in Ontario or the U.S. Midwest is built with parts that have crossed the Canada-U.S. border an average of seven times.

Whether due to congestion or inefficient customs processes, border delays undermine our competitiveness. These back-ups can add up to $800 to the cost of a North American-assembled vehicle.

Canada and the United States have begun addressing the red tape challenge through the Beyond the Border process. We now need a real plan to address our decaying border infrastructure. Traditional methods for financing border infrastructure — through budget appropriations — are not getting the job done.

When built, the New International Trade Crossing connecting Windsor and Detroit will provide best-in-class infrastructure for the busiest Canada-U.S. crossing. More trade passes through this one corridor daily than between the U.S. and Japan. The NITC is therefore vital to the economies of Ontario and the U.S. Midwest.

But the project has faced numerous political and financial hurdles at both the federal and state levels.

Read Full Article