April 24, 2009
The Harper government needs to beef up Canada’s profile overseas if it wants to stimulate more trade and create jobs, say provincial trade ministers. The ministers were meeting with their federal counterpart, Stockwell Day, on Thursday to discuss strategies to help exporters and investors during the economic downturn.
One of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s priorities when he took office was bolstering Canada’s presence on the world stage. But some provinces – as well as retired diplomats and former Conservative Trade Minister David Emerson – have been critical of his cuts to the Foreign Affairs Department. In particular, budget reductions in diplomacy and closures of Canadian missions abroad have been condemned as short-sighted. The latest closures, revealed this week, are slated for Cambodia and Bosnia.
Meanwhile, the United States has been pouring more resources into its international profile, as has the United Kingdom and Australia.
Ontario Trade Minister Sandra Pupatello complimented Day for his “activist agenda,” saying he took the trade portfolio in the right direction with an aggressive travel schedule that has taken him to China and India for long sojourns.
Harper has not visited India, China or Brazil – the world’s biggest emerging markets – since taking office three years ago.
“In our experiences abroad, we are given a clear message by leadership in other countries that they do want to see Canada,” Pupatello told reporters. “And while they really do appreciate provincial intervention, they really anticipate seeing ministers and the prime minister.” Read more here.
European Union foreign ministers should agree to launch talks next week on a bilateral trade pact with Canada worth around $27 billion per year after EU envoys endorsed the plan on Thursday, diplomats said.
“The foreign ministers should give the green light at their meeting on Monday with the formal launch at the EU-Canada summit in Prague on May 6,” a diplomat told Reuters following a meeting of 27 EU ambassadors in Brussels.
France expressed some reservations to starting the negotiations under current economic conditions, but Paris’ lifted its veto on Friday after its concerns were met, diplomats said. Read more here.
(World Trade Interactive)
A recent report from the Congressional Research Service examines three possible scenarios that could result from the protectionist pressures that have increased amid the ongoing global economic downturn. The report also identifies a number of related policy challenges for Congress.
Read the complete article at here and the CRS report via Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg PA here (PDF).
U.S. Customs plans to change the filing deadline for advance import data required under the “10+2” rule to make compliance easier for shippers, according to a program official.
About 45% of Importer Security Filings are being submitted on time, but CBP believes that figure is low because it has been measuring timeliness against the time the first bill of lading is filed by the carrier under the 24-hour advance manifest rule. Many bills of lading are filed more than two days prior to vessel lading, which makes it difficult for importers to compile and file the necessary cargo details on time. Read more here (subscription required).
In his first policy speech, the top United States trade official said Thursday that President Obama would work to revive global trade talks and complete three bilateral accords as part of an aggressive trade agenda.
The administration plans “a new paradigm” on trade, the trade representative, Ron Kirk, told an audience at Georgetown University. “We’re looking at everything,” he said. Rejecting fears of a turn to protectionism or a softening of support for free trade, Mr. Kirk said: “Now is not the time to turn inward. Now is not the time to be timid. Now is the time to revive global trade.”
Mr. Kirk vowed to press ahead on three bilateral trade agreements negotiated by the Bush administration. He said there was strong bipartisan support in Congress for an agreement with Panama – suggesting that its completion might come first – but that the administration was also working to advance the somewhat more controversial pacts with Colombia and South Korea.
Mr. Obama had criticized Colombia during his presidential campaign because of violence there against labor activists. But his administration has pointed to progress there since then.
On the accord with Seoul, United States auto manufacturers question whether it would adequately open South Korea’s auto market. Read more here.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers seized counterfeit designer merchandise at Chicago O'Hare International Airport Tuesday valued at more than $1.3 million.
The merchandise was being shipped from Hong Kong to Toronto and was found in a warehouse sweep of arriving international freight shipments, according to a news release.
The shipment contained more than 2,000 items, including wallets, handbags, purses and tote bags bearing protected trademarks. The merchandise had a suggested retail price of more than $1.3 million and a domestic value of more than $300,000. Included in the shipment were counterfeit Prada and Coach handbags, Gucci and Louis Vuitton wallets, Chanel belts and Tiffany & Co. jewelry. Read more here.
Trade with the US will be subject to more stringent Customs procedures for e-manifests from 25 April.
US Customs and Border Protection said individuals transporting goods across land and sea borders under an e-manifest must comply with the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative’s rules on identification documents from 26 April.
The agency will issue a warning message to shippers which fail to comply with the new regulations.
From 1 June the warning message will be replaced by a rejection of the e-manifest if it is submitted without the correct documentation, such as a US passport or passport card.
Previously US borders could be cleared using a range of documents including birth certificates and driving licenses. Read more here (subscription)
W here do they get these people? Had former president George W. Bush appointed to guard America’s borders a person such as Janet Napolitano who thinks 9/ 11 terrorists entered the U. S. from Canada, those who still respect him would be yet contending with the sneers of those who thought he was a rube surrounded by more rubes. But, President Barack Obama has appointed Napolitano as his Homeland Security Secretary, and that is exactly what she told the CBC’s Washington correspondent, Neil Macdonald, on Monday.
Later, she recanted, saying she had misunderstood the question.
Really? It seemed simple enough. She having declared, “To the extent that terrorists have come into our country, or suspected or known terrorists have entered our country across a border, it’s been across the Canadian border,” Macdonald asked if she was referring to the 9/11 attackers. She replied, “Not just those, but others as well.”
If she wasn’t mentally nimble enough to follow the thread of such an uncomplicated conversation, what else does she not understand? Is it too much to hope a person tapped by the president for high office would exceed the average savvy by a margin proportionate to their promotion? Read the complete editorial here.
Related: Security Failings (Ottawa Citizen); Thickening border an ever-greater obstacle to U.S.-Canada trade (Vancouver Sun); Homeland Rigidity (Chronicle Herald)
When Prime Minister Stephen Harper stood alongside U.S. President Barack Obama in Ottawa in February 2009 and made his strong statement about how important Canada considers border security, many thought the Americans got the message.
Well, apparently they didn’t, as the new U.S. Homeland Security Secretary, appointed by Obama, suggested in April 2009 that terrorists have routinely entered her country through Canada, including the perpetrators of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
Here’s some of what Janet Napolitano said during an interview with Neil Macdonald of CBC News, who asked her to clarify earlier statements she made about the borders of Mexico and Canada:
“Yes, Canada is not Mexico. It doesn’t have a drug war going on; it didn’t have 6,000 homicides that were drug-related last year,” Napolitano said.
“Nonetheless, to the extent that terrorists have come into our country or suspected or known terrorists have entered our country across a border, it’s been across the Canadian border. There are real issues there.” Read more here.
This publication has been provided in order to give the reader a better understanding of the verification process under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
The NAFTA allows each Party’s customs administration various methods for determining if a good certified as originating qualifies by meeting the NAFTA rules of origin requirements. Such methods may include written questionnaires to be completed by the exporter or producer, verification letters requesting information from the exporter or producer and visits to the exporter’s or producer’s premises. A verification could be conducted by any or all of these methods…This information replaces RC4006.
On behalf of the Windsor-Essex Development Commission (WEDC) it gives me great pleasure to invite you to attend the Windsor-Essex International Multimodal Conference.
This 2-day conference is an exciting initiative that will bring business and industry leaders together from across Canada and the United States. We are also pleased to present our keynote speaker, Jeremy Rifkin.
Mr. Rifkin is President of the Foundation on Economic Trends and the best-selling author of 17 books on the impact of scientific and technological changes on the economy, the workforce, society, and the environment.
Hub ‘09 is where local and international manufacturers, suppliers, service providers and retailers will gather to discuss logistics infrastructure and cross-border transnational engagement and opportunities by implementing effective supply-chain solutions.
The health and prosperity of our regional economy depends on the timely and efficient movement of goods and services. It is influenced by broader economic trends, global trade and consumer habits and has a significant impact on the Windsor-Detroit transportation corridor.
Do not miss the unique opportunity to participate in the HUB’09 International Multimodal Conference to be held May 5-6, 2009 at Caesars Windsor. For registration or sponsorship information please visit http://www.HUB09.com , or call 519-255-9200 x2222. I have also attached a copy of the HUB’09 sponsorship and registration packages available here.
The Windsor-Essex Development Commission, and our host partners; the University of Windsor, the Windsor Port Authority, Windsor International Airport – YQG – Your Quick Gateway, the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce, and the Detroit Chamber of Commerce, look forward to seeing you at the conference.
April 23, 2009
Application of anti-dumping duty
1. This memorandum refers to the application of anti-dumping duties to importations of certain carbon steel pipe fittings originating in or exported from the People’s Republic of China.
2. This memorandum is being revised to reflect the Canadian International Trade Tribunal’s order, dated July 15, 2008, continuing the order regarding certain carbon steel pipe fittings originating in or exported from the People’s Republic of China.
Memorandum D15-2-52: Certain Carbon Steel Welded Pipe Originating in or Exported from The People’s Republic of China (New)
Application of anti-dumping and countervailing duties
1. This memorandum refers to the application of anti-dumping and countervailing duties to importations of certain carbon steel welded pipe originating in or exported from the People’s Republic of China.
2. This memorandum is divided into six sections.
3. A description of the subject goods is provided.
4. The milestone dates of the investigation are provided along with the applicable classification numbers.
5. Information regarding the normal value of the subject goods and anti-dumping and countervailing duties is provided.
Enhanced security could cost as much as $5 billion
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is stepping up its efforts to secure the nation’s land borders, and the agency is receiving hundreds of millions of dollars to support its efforts. Jayson Ahern, acting commissioner, said CBP will receive $420 million in federal stimulus funds for border security, and the General Services Administration will receive $300 million for border facility enhancements.
Ahern said Wednesday at the annual conference of the National Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association of America this funding will be a “good first step” toward the estimated $5 billion needed to build infrastructure and upgrade border facilities. […]
…CBP is pressing the trade community to provide more information about imported products from as far back in the supply chain as possible. CBP in January published its interim final rule on the advanced finally requirement known as 10-plus-two. The final rule will be published in the Federal Register in June, Ahern said. Read more here.
CBSA has provided an FAQ on getting a “warning” issued by a border services officer.
What does a “warning” mean?
Since this is your first violation, and it does not involve dangerous or prohibited goods, the border services officer has only given you a warning about importing goods illegally. The officer told you what you did to break the law and asked you to either pay the duty and taxes you owe or to forfeit your goods.
Does the CBSA keep records of warnings?
Yes. The CBSA enters your information into its computer system. When people cross the border, the CBSA conducts a search of this system and if it finds that you have received a warning in the past, there's a greater chance that:
• your goods will be inspected; and
• more serious action such as seizure of your goods and criminal prosecution will be taken if you have improperly declared goods again.
How long does the CBSA keep my record?
The CBSA keeps records of warnings for up to two years. These records help us enforce customs laws and regulations.
After two years, your record will automatically be deleted if you haven't had any more violations.
Read more in the publication available on the CBSA website here.
April 22, 2009
Recent signals from the Chinese economy have been mixed. Troubling developments in the second half of 2008 sparked fears of further fallout. But these have given way to a bevy of upbeat data in recent weeks, and with it, a more optimistic tone. Is China on the mend?
Last year’s deceleration was indeed a worry. Accustomed to double-digit growth, China suddenly found itself growing by less than 3% in the latter half of last year. Official data didn’t seem nearly as grave, but indicators of industrial production and exports told a more worrisome tale. Most China-watchers feel that the economy needs 7-8% growth to prevent serious internal dislocations in production, employment, banking, and general social cohesion. If sustained, last year’s rapid slowdown could lead to much more serious and far-reaching outcomes.
Last week, China announced that first-quarter growth slid to the weakest growth pace since the data were first published in 1992. Discouraging, at first blush. But the official data are year-on-year comparisons, and in this case, don’t properly reflect recent activity. Actual implied quarterly growth probably doubled to 6% at annual rates, with some estimates running as high as 8.8%. These figures better reflect the recent about-face in many indicators, including fixed-asset investment, industrial production, the purchasing managers’ index, bank lending, and retail sales. Read more here.
As a reminder, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), through the Foreign Carrier Model Security Program regulations has specific security requirements for all cargo destined to passenger aircraft departing from Canada to the United States for Freight Forwarders.
Effective immediately, all Freight Forwarders shall be required to submit their Cargo Security Declaration Form in addition to each Airway Bill attesting that it has taken all security measures to ensure the integrity of the freight. Please note this is solely applicable for freight destined to the United States from Canada. Please find below an example of Cargo Security Declaration Form:
(Business Letterhead of Freight Forwarder)
General Cargo Security Declaration
The Cargo dispatched by (Name of Agent or Freight Forwarder) comes from customers whose reliability we do not doubt. The cargo has been protected from the time the cargo was tendered to and accepted by us at our acceptance location.
For more information, contact you local Air Canada Cargo Representative or visit the website.
Different threats to United States require different approaches on U.S. northern and southern borders but border integrity will be enforced, secretary vows Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano promised to work with Canada to develop shared and smart solutions to border security in advance of her first trip to the country but she also vowed first and foremost she would enforce U.S. border laws in exchanges with Canadian representatives in Washington, DC, Tuesday.
“I think if my job is to be a myth-buster, I’m a myth-buster,” Napolitano declared at a forum sponsored by the Border Trade Alliance. “And the myth I’m trying to bust is that there’s no real border between Canada and the United States.
“There’s the closets of friendships, there’s the closest of alliances. There’s the closest of trade relationships. I know that, I respect that,” she said in response to concerns from a Canadian businessman. “But the law says there’s a border and certain things have to be done at the border. And the fact of the matter is that Canada allows people into its country that we do not allow into ours. And that’s why you have to have a border. And you have to have a border policy that makes sense.”
Napolitano told Canadian lawmakers and business representatives alike that she would work with the Canadian government to address shared concerns over the thickening of the border--or putting in place security measures that slow the flow of legitimate cargo and travelers. Read more here.
The transcript of Ms Napolitano’s April 20 interview with CBC’s Neil Macdonald is on the CBC website at the CBC website.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Tuesday he was “delighted” by a U.S. decision not to reopen the North American Free Trade Agreement to press for tougher labor and environmental protections.
“We’re delighted with this decision from the Americans,” Harper told a press conference during a visit to Jamaica, televised in Canada. “We can always improve on things, but it is essential to discuss the future and not review decisions taken in the past,” he said.
The 1994 trade pact created the largest trading bloc in the world by eliminating import tariffs on goods circulating among partners Canada, the United States and Mexico. During last year’s election campaign, then U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama often criticized the free trade pact and hinted that he might renegotiate it to include labor and environmental safeguards that would be enforced.
But Canada and Mexico were wary of reopening trade negotiations. “Once we re-open it, it would be very hard to get that cat back in the bag,” Harper explained.
On Monday, U.S. Trade Representative Ronald Kirk said after returning from a weekend Summit of the Americas in Trinidad that U.S. concerns “can be addressed without having to reopen the agreement.” Read more here.
Christian Martin, Experts LCG-ADM Inc
Bank lines of credit and safeguards offered in relation to international business operations.
Pierre Donato, Laurentian Bank
Importing and the “marginalization” of letters of credit.
Harold Riley, Export Development Canada
Exporter guarantee programs.
Normand Faubert, OptionDevises
The real challenge of foreign exchange – How to optimize through the sound management of foreign cash flows, the profitability of import/export operations.
Carl Gravel, Business Development Bank of Canada
Partner your growth – Overview of services offered.
More information and registration form available here (PDF)
China’s big corporations plan to defy Beijing’s “go global” acquisition policy and hoard their investment cash at home, because of fears about spending overseas during the worldwide economic downturn, says a new Canadian-funded report.
The Chinese government has been urging its business sector to embark on an international spending spree, picking up offshore assets at bargain-basement prices. Beijing has even sent trade and investment delegations around the world to pave the way for the country’s state-owned and private companies to make inroads abroad.
But although there has been some increase in foreign investment by Chinese companies in recent months, the majority of Chinese executives fear they don’t have the expertise to invest in markets like Canada and the U.S., especially during an economic downturn.
“At the beginning of the [global economic downturn], people thought there would be a big wave of Chinese acquisitions because assets are cheap and the barriers to Chinese companies are getting lower. But the Chinese also know there are risks in the international markets,” said Kenny Zhang, senior research analyst with the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada. Read more here.
A preliminary report on the survey can be accessed here.
April 21, 2009
Official says Obama won’t follow up on election pledge
A whispered assurance from a Barack Obama aide to Canadian diplomats that the future U.S. president would not rip up the North American free-trade agreement has proven prophetic.
Mr. Obama’s top trade official confirmed yesterday that Mr. Obama has no plans to reopen NAFTA to insert tough environmental and labour protections, which he publicly pledged to do during last year’s presidential race.
“The President has said we will look at all of our options, but I think they can be addressed without having to reopen the agreement,” U.S. Trade Representative Ronald Kirk told reporters.
Mr. Kirk made the comments after returning from the weekend Summit of the Americas in Trinidad, where Mr. Obama met privately with Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Mexican President Felipe Calderon.
The three leaders “are all of the mind we should look for opportunities to strengthen NAFTA,” Mr. Kirk said. Read more here.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection today announced it will cancel old NEXUS cards for current NEXUS members on May 1.
CBP has been mailing new NEXUS cards to all members since November. The new cards have enhanced security features and allow U.S. and Canadian citizen cardholders to comply with the documentary requirements of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative.
All members must activate their new cards within 30 days, verify and update their U.S. mailing address by going to the GOES page on the CBP website.
NEXUS members should destroy their old cards after activating their new ones. If members have not received their new cards, they should go to their local enrollment center to either pick up their new card or to apply to have a new card issued. Old cards will be deactivated May 1.
NEXUS is a joint CBP-Canada Border Services Agency program that both governments implemented to enhance border security while simplifying the entry process for pre-approved, low-risk travelers. It was established in 2002 and approximately 280,000 members participate in the program.
A similar program called Secure Electronic Network for Travelers Rapid Inspection (SENTRI) serves citizens of the U.S. on the southern border.
Do exporters, importers, manufacturers and others who ship goods around the world know what they are doing? Are they adding costs instead of adding value?
Dr Andrew Traill, managing partner of Shippers’ Voice, believes that some shippers don’t know enough about the transport of their products to understand what they really need from their freight and logistics service providers.
“Some shippers are hugely professional and sophisticated in their understanding of the world of international transport, but many others, sadly, are too reliant on their logistics suppliers,” says Traill. “They hand over this vital part of their business to a third party without really knowing what they are buying. This is bad for them – and often bad for the logistics provider.”
Shipper’s Voice (registration required) has been set up to help shippers become more informed, to enable them to become better partners and work more closely with their logistics providers to reduce supply chain costs.
“The role of the person who buys or organises the transport of goods around the world – the shipper – is greatly undervalued in most companies,” says Traill. “Yet the on-time delivery of a product is often the most important aspect in the customer’s mind. An efficient supply chain can help to win contracts – and an inefficient one can just as quickly lose them.”
He points out that, ultimately, it is the person paying the bill – the shipper – who is responsible for meeting legal requirements such as ensuring Customs paperwork and duty paid is correct. “Just because you pay someone else to do the work, does not mean you can forget about it.” Read more here.
A major industry figure told shippers to be ready for a “turbulent ride” in the days ahead when it comes to security mandates.
“Given all the political changes in Washington, the future of our industry is in serious jeopardy,” said Brandon Fried, executive director of the Air Forwarders Association (AfA). “Under the Obama administration, we can expect aviation security measures to double, and that will mean higher costs placed on all of us.”
Speaking at a luncheon organized by the San Francisco Air Cargo Association (SFACA) last week, Fried noted that the implementation of the “Certified Cargo Screening Program” is making slow but steady progress, and “is here to stay.” “And with no federal dollars being spent on it, we will have to shoulder the burden of providing equipment, personnel and training,” he said.
At the same time, he said, many airports don’t even have the room necessary to store screening machines, and forwarders are still waiting for the government to approve machines capable of screening palletized cargo. “Without that,” he said, “freight may only be accepted on a ‘loose’ basis, requiring airlines to inspect each load on a piece level.”
The Certified Cargo Screening program is still the most “pragmatic” plan out there, allowed Fried, noting that a repeal might take as long as three years. “And it’s unlikely to be overturned due to the political firestorm around its passage,” he added. Read more here.
April 20, 2009
This year’s Summit of the Americas takes place in the context of the worst global economic crisis in generations. While the crisis began in developed countries, its effects are hitting emerging and developing economies with increasing severity. Canada’s focus for the Summit is encouraging free trade and discouraging other countries from moving back to protectionist measures.
With the attention of the region on the economic situation, the Summit is an opportunity to connect Canada’s strengths and effective response to the crisis to the circumstances and needs of regional partners while building on the outcomes of the London G20 Summit. Canada is working towards recovery in its own economy and providing leadership internationally:
• Canada’s strong stance against protectionism and in favour of further liberalization is opening new markets for our partners in the hemisphere
• Fixing the financial system is essential to restoring credit and investment flows to emerging economies
• Canada’s banks are solid thanks to our sound approach to financial sector planning
• Accelerated, effective fiscal stimulus contributes to global demand and recovery
• Canada is making a substantial contribution to strengthening the resources of the international financial institutions, especially the IMF and the IFC global trade facility.
It is with this in mind that Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced today [Saturday] that Canada will work to temporarily increase the Inter-American Development Bank’s (IDB) lending capacity in response to the financial crisis. Today’s announcement responds to the urgent capital needs identified by the IDB as essential to an effective response to the effects of the economic crisis in the Americas.
“Canada is the only country taking a leadership role in responding to a critical need in such an innovative way,” said the Prime Minister. “This has not been done before and is a very significant contribution.”
This timely increase in support to the IDB will provide countries in the region with greater access to credit to promote economic growth, an essential element of economic recovery. It will double temporarily Canada’s lending capital at the IDB.
The IDB is a valued regional institution in which Canada plays an active role. The Bank is the main source of multilateral funding for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean, and Canada is a non-borrowing regional member. Canada joined the Bank in 1972. The IDB is the oldest and largest regional development bank in Latin America and the Caribbean. Canada will host the annual meeting of IDB Governors in 2011.
For more information on Canada’s partnership with the IDB can be found here.
Summit produces greater cooperation and dialogue in the hemisphere
Canada is pleased with the progress made by participants in the 2009 Summit of the Americas to fight the impact of the global recession on the Western Hemisphere, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said today [Sunday].
“We sought to keep the focus on the global economic crisis and I am pleased with the substantive discussions I had with my counterparts on ways we could work together as part of the global response,” said the Prime Minister. “I am also pleased that, for the most part, leaders were in agreement that maintaining open markets is critical to a regional and a global recovery.”
“We saw a tremendous reciprocation of that spirit as the conference went on by other members, who at times have had divergent views.”
To further strengthen ties between Canada and other states in the Americas, the Prime Minister announced several new trade and development initiatives at the summit. Canada will be doubling its commitment to the Inter-American Development Bank. In addition, the Prime Minister announced a five-year technical assistance program to help countries that have signed or are about to sign trade agreements with Canada. Canada will strengthen its support for democracy in the Americas through a substantial new contribution to the Organization of American States Electoral Assistance Initiative.
“We also wanted to continue building Canada’s engagement in the Americas, and I had several good meetings with leaders in pursuit of that goal,” said the Prime Minister. “Overall, this Summit has been successful from Canada’s point of view.”
The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) is declaring victory after successfully lobbying for the allowance of in-bond Customs clearance when the Advanced Commercial Information System (ACI)/e-Manifest program is rolled out.
Until recently, Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) had suggested it would not allow goods to be moved in-bond for later clearance if all paperwork was not filed in advance by the owners of the cargo. Instead, trucks would have been turned back at the border, which would have proven costly for carriers – especially LTL carriers hauling freight for multiple shippers on a single trailer.
CTA argued that removing the in-bond option would negatively impact the entire supply chain. And eventually, CBSA agreed. The border agency said it would retain the in-bond option for carriers that participate in low-risk programs such as FAST, PIP, CSA or C-TPAT.
“By continuing to allow low-risk carriers the ability to move goods in-bond to clear customs at a secure inland facility the CBSA is demonstrating a clear commitment to conduct enhanced risk assessment without unduly impeding trade,” said CTA chief David Bradley.
Canada Border Services Agency Successfully Delivers on the Government of Canada’s Paperwork Burden Reduction Initiative
The Honourable Peter Van Loan, Minister of Public Safety, today announced that the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has successfully met the Government of Canada’s target for all participating departments and agencies to reduce 20% of the requirements their policies and forms impose on Canadian business.
This 20% reduction is part of the Government of Canada-led Paperwork Burden Reduction Initiative. Through this initiative, the CBSA has eliminated over 1,600 obsolete, non-essential requirements and administrative demands imposed on business, making the overall CBSA commercial process clearer and easier for Canadian businesses to comply with and understand.
“The CBSA is committed to a smart and secure border that not only ensures the safety of Canadians but also facilitates Canadian business and trade,” said Minister Van Loan. “By meeting the 20% target, the CBSA is contributing to this important government initiative to reduce the paperwork burden. This is just one of our efforts to further simplify and streamline commercial processes for our business clients, in particular the smaller enterprises.”
Through its own business simplification initiative and in support of the Paperwork Burden Reduction Initiative, the CBSA partners with key representatives from business, industry and trade to continue making the commercial process easier at the Canadian border. One of these key partnerships is with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). The CFIB has played an important role in the CBSA’s ongoing business simplification efforts.
“The CBSA’s business simplification working group is an exemplary illustration of how the private and public sectors are working together towards paperwork reduction,” said Corinne Pohlmann, Vice-President of National Affairs at the CFIB. Ms. Pohlmann is also the co-chair of the CBSA’s business simplification working group.
The Department of Finance is currently reviewing a request for the removal of the customs duties on gas turbine-driven generator sets with a range of 30 to 40 MW. These generator sets are classified under tariff item No. 8502.39.10 of the Customs Tariff, dutiable at 6% under the Most-Favoured-Nation (MFN) Tariff, and there is a 2.5% rate available under the General Preferential Tariff (GPT).
The applicants claim that generator sets at these power ranges are not available from Canadian production and that tariff relief would enhance their competitiveness in both the domestic and export markets.
If you have an interest in this request, or are aware of others who could potentially be affected by such action, I would appreciate receiving your views by May 29, 2009.
International Trade Policy Division, Department of Finance
14th Floor, East Tower, 140 O’Connor Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0G5
Phone: (613) 992-2510, Fax: (613) 992-6761, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
April 19, 2009
For 20 years, Canada has focused on free trade with the United States. It is our special relationship, the fulcrum of our economy, our one and only big idea.
But there are indications that this particular big idea is fast becoming passé.
In part, the sheer fact of the global slump is to blame. As the perennial softwood lumber dispute shows, the U.S. has never entirely embraced its obligations under the North American Free Trade Agreement. Any recession merely heightens America’s protectionist instincts.
But this is not just any recession. It is shifting the balance in the world economy. The America that emerges from this slump promises to be a significantly different country.
Pre-recession America was the world’s glutton – a country whose consumers were willing to buy anything and everything even if they had to go into debt.
For Canada, with unique access to this massive and undiscriminating market, prosperity was assured. Did Americans want gas-guzzling pickups? Canadians would build them – and then provide the petroleum to make them run.
Did Americans want lumber to build houses that ultimately they couldn’t afford? No problem. We’d sell them that as well.