Border Issues

The Beyond the Border initiative outlines a vision for perimeter security and economic competitiveness whereby the United States and Canada work together within, at, and away from our borders to achieve enhanced security and expedite lawful trade and travel between our two countries. Since the agreement was signed in 2011, the governments of the United States and Canada have worked together in a concerted way to advance our shared interests in perimeter security and economic competitiveness, achieving results that will improve the lives of residents, visitors and businesses in both our countries.

Beyond the Border represented a paradigm shift in our mutual relationship, with a focus on cooperating to address layered threats not only to our citizens and our cross-border trade and travel, but also our physical and cyber infrastructure, and to do so as early as possible. Through Beyond the Border, we created a new framework for the US-Canada relationship with measurable actions and timelines. This Action Plan resulted in several, specific bi-lateral advancements including in information sharing, transportation security and travel facilitation, trusted traveler and trader programs, a renewed preclearance agreement to cover the Land, Rail, Marine and Air environments, development of border infrastructure investment plans, a cybersecurity action plan and mutual assistance concepts of operation in the event of cross border chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or explosive (CBRNE) event.

Although much work outlined in the Action Plan has been accomplished since 2011, there is still more progress that can be made through the US-Canada relationship. We are confident that our partnership will continue beyond the successes achieved through the Beyond the Border initiative and look forward to further collaboration to find innovative ways to simultaneously enhance our mutual security and facilitate legitimate travel and trade, further strengthening the enduring ties between our two countries.

Additionally, the United States has several long-standing, successful joint law enforcement programs with Canada such as the Integrated Border Enforcement Teams (IBET), Border Enforcement Security Taskforces (BEST), and the ShipRider Integrated Cross Border Maritime Law Enforcement program. Senior leadership engages in these efforts through fora such as the Cross Border Crime Forum (CBCF), which is chaired by the U.S. Attorney General and the Secretary of Homeland Security with their Canadian counterparts. Along with Beyond the Border, these law enforcement partnerships demonstrate each country’s commitment as North American neighbors to the safety and security of our citizens.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) conducts preclearance operations at eight Canadian airports, allowing air travelers to arrive at domestic terminals in the United States by screening and making admissibility decisions about U.S.-bound travelers and their accompanying goods or baggage prior to departure. The United States and Canada intend to enhance preclearance operations and expand them to also cover land, rail, and ferry/cruise travel as a key initiative of Beyond the Border.