"The trucking industry appreciates the efforts of President Obama and Prime Minister Harper to advance the cause of trade between the United States and Canada," said Graves. "This agreement is a positive first step to increasing the competitiveness of businesses on both sides of the border.
"Trucks carry about 60 percent of the value of trade between the United States and Canada, our single largest trading partner. Removing bottlenecks and speeding the flow of goods across the border will not only help carriers in both countries, but also their customers who depend on timely and efficient cross-border operations."
At the same time that President Obama and Prime Minister Harper were meeting, ATA members and staff met with U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Alan Bersin to discuss ways to improve cross-border trucking operations.
"We held a very open and positive discussion with Commissioner Bersin and other CBP officials to find ways to improve and expedite the movement of freight across the border," said Graves. "We look forward to working with CBP and other government agencies to define what is needed to have a more secure and efficient process for cross-border trucking operations."
"I want to commend Commissioner Bersin for his openness in wanting to work with us to reduce unnecessary costs and delays at both our northern and southern borders," said Steve Russell, chairman and CEO of Celadon Group Inc., who represented ATA's member carriers at the meeting with CBP. "We encourage the Obama administration to develop a process that expedites the flow of low-risk trucks into Canada, but also to streamline the movement of goods with Mexico."