Beyond the Border panel faces complaints
OTTAWA - Canada-U.S. stakeholders are complaining about a bilateral initiative designed to speed up trade and travel between the world's two biggest trading partners.
In a letter to the U.S. Federal Register, they say the so-called Regulatory Co-operation Council lacks momentum, isn't open to new ideas and isn't working closely with the industries most affected by border barriers.
The 28 organizations and associations say they aren't being consulted about ways to slash red tape at the border, which thickened significantly after the terrorist attacks of September 2001.
The letter also gripes about the slow pace and the lack of transparency of the RCC's work, saying it's "unclear whether all the timelines are still on track."
The RCC was established as part of the Canada-U.S. Beyond The Border initiatives, announced two years ago with great fanfare by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and U.S. President Barack Obama.
Beyond the Border was conceived as a way to reduce regulatory burdens on a host of industries, including the agriculture and auto sectors, to integrate inspection systems and to allow travellers to cross the border more quickly.