Border Delays, Rules Cost Canada $19.1B

(Aug. 16, 2012) – The myriad of post-Sept 11 security regulations and traffic bottlenecks at the Canada-US border are costing Canadians over $19 billion a year, according to a new study.

Researchers at the Fraser Institute calculated billions of dollars in lost trade and tourism as a result of increased security at the Canada-U.S. border since Sept. 11.

“Canadians and Americans are at a crossroads: either we continue with incremental and uncoordinated border programs as we have often done since 9/11 or we begin to create a new border regime,” Alexander Moens, Fraser Institute senior fellow and co-author of the report, said in a release.

Ten years of post-9/11 border initiatives, the costs associated with border crossing have not significantly decreased while government spending on border security has markedly increased, states the report. Since 2001, the share of Canadian exports to the U.S. fell 11 percent.

The authors call for governments to  provide detailed descriptions of costs and expenditures for specific border programs and new security measures and link them to expected outcomes and timelines.

The report, titled Measuring the Costs of the Canada-US Border, also lauds the joint declaration announced by the governments of Canada and the U.S. to build a new bridge between Windsor and Detroit.

“The building of a new bridge in the vicinity of Windsor-Detroit is a commendable decision as it promises to improve the logistics of North American automobile manufacturing, and thereby strengthen economic prospects for both Canada and the United States,” Moens said.

Last year, Canada and the U.S. struck the Beyond the Border Action Plan, which attempts to alleviate some of the impediments at the border.

The Canadian Trucking Alliance, which played an instrumental role advising on measures in the plan affecting the trucking industry, applauded the blueprint as a way to more effectively balance security and trade imperatives while restoring a meaningful return on investment in the trusted trader programs for trucking carriers.