LINKS Sept. 14, 2011


Detroit bridge owner gets Koch help [Bloomberg]

More secure passports coming next year [CP]

US federal prosecutors discuss northern border issues [WSJ]

Holder: Officers from US, Canada will work on cross-border investigations [AP]

Harper, Obama to give details of border security deal [Postmedia News]

Much good has come from tightened border security [Peace Arch News]


Ottawa says it will fight Buy American measures [Toronto Star]

US envoy says trade with Canada is top issue [AP]

Canadians anxious about Buy American provisions in Obama’s jobs bill [CP]

Geithner: Economy in an early stage of crisis [Real Clear Politics]

Obama declares ‘national emergency’ for jobs [Politico]

Strong Cdn dollar not only reason for shopping in US [CBC]

Weak job market has Canadians looking north [Postmedia News]

US media juggernaut still a threat to Canada [Troy Media News]

Cdn doctors still make dramatically less than US counterparts: study [National Post]


Doer says he won’t run for NDP leadership [Toronto Star]


Canada to extend Libya mission by 3 months [CTV]

Canadian companies will benefit from military intervention: Libyan official [Postmedia News]

NATO balks at Libya nation-building, policing [AP]


Oliver stumps for Keystone pipeline in California [CP]

Peter Lougheed opposes Keystone pipeline [CBC]

Yedlin: Lougheed comment sparks pipeline debate [Calgary Herald]

Oil patch steams ahead [Financial Post]

Tar-sands showdown [Wired]

10 reasons why the Keystone pipeline will be built [National Review]

Over 1,200 Keystone protesters arrested [Living on Earth]


LINKS Sept. 7, 2011


Border agent says there’s nothing to do, money is being wasted [CNN]

Canada dropped $92-billion on security post-9/11 [Postmedia News]

Canadian trucker admits smuggling cocaine from US [AP]

Tragedy forged new reality [CP]

Schumer calls on Feds to move ahead with joint border crossing []

Hampson: 9/11 and the Remaking of Canada []

Robertson: The border: The bygone days of ‘pass friend’ [Embassy mag]

After 9/11, border patrol doubles, fewer tourists cross border, more criminals caught [Detroit Free Press]

More Canadian manufacturers encountering difficulty as they try to cross into the US [NB Business Journal]

Georgia man stays in jail after border child porn bust [Winnipeg Sun]


Flaherty wants probe into ‘irritating’ US-Canada price gaps [Postmedia News]

How Canadians get access to US-only deals [Globe and Mail]

Is the US ready for Little Mosque on the Prairie [BBC]

Canadian dealers get ‘carve out’ from US regulations [Financial Post]


Lt. Gen. Bouchard assesses NATO’s mission in Libya [NPR]

Plan would keep small force in Iraq past deadline [NY Times]


Sen. Johannes, second prominent Nebraska Republican opposes Keystone pipeline [Des Moines Register]

Study: Tar sands oil will reach US sans pipeline [Forbes]

Oil sands need US workers: Alberta minister [Bloomberg]

Dalai Lama joins Keystone pipeline opponents [Calgary Sun]

McKibben: What comes next for oil sands action []

Nobel Laureates urge Obama to reject pipeline [Huffington Post]

Canada minister ‘increasingly optimistic’ about Keystone approval [Dow Jones]

Cdn ambassador confident pipeline will be approved for jobs [Postmedia News]

Oil-funded study: more drilling would add 1.4 million jobs [Reuters]

Are Canadians growing apathetic about the oil sands? [Huffington Post]

Keystone XL benefactor to send oil overseas [Michigan Messenger]

Letter to Oprah Winfrey on ‘ethical oil’ ads []



Canadians to pay (literally) for US trade deals with Colombia, South Korea

July 21, 2011

Remember the proposed $5.50 surcharge on travelers from Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean that was buried in the small print of the Obama administration’s proposed budget for 2012?

Well, Congress has not yet passed a 2012 budget, but the fee has shown up again – this time in legislation that would implement a proposed free trade agreement between the US and Colombia. And another fee hike that would hit Canadian trade is included in a proposed US-Korea free trade deal. Those free trade deals, and one with Panama, are expected to come before the US Congress in September.

The traveler fee  is listed as an “offset” to the costs that the Colombia trade agreement would impose on the US when tariffs are eliminated on trade with that country.

In this document from the Congressional Budget Office, the fee is listed under the heading “Eliminate NAFTA Fee Exemption.” According to CBO, ending the exemption enjoyed by NAFTA travelers would raise one billion dollars over ten years.

And the fee appears again in this  ”Statement of Administrative Action” submitted by the Obama administration to Congress, under the heading “Offsets” on page 33:

“Section 601 of the bill amends section 13031 of the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 to eliminate the current exemption  from customs user fees for air and sea passengers arriving from Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean.  The amendment leaves in place the exemption for travelers arriving from U.S. territories and possessions.”


In addition, the proposed US-Korea free trade would increase the “merchandise processing fee” charged by the US on  imports, including some from Canada, from a top rate of .21 percent to .3464 percent of the value of the import.

The Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters say the proposals are damaging to Canada-US trade and travel.

“Two free-trade agreements that would provide competition to Canadian goods in the US marketplace are essentially being paid for on the backs of passengers from Canada — and in the air environment that means primarily business travelers —  and commercial goods from Canada, their NAFTA partner,” says Birgit Matthiesen, the Washington advisor to the Canadian Exporters and Manufacturers.

CME president Jay Myers writes that “neglect” of US-Canada trade is turning into “negligence”:

“The new air passenger fee will be paid by Americans and Canadians alike, but primarily by those businesses in both countries that account for nearly three-quarters of our cross-border air travel – those same businesses that are expected to drive U.S. export growth.  Likewise, higher processing fees will ultimately be paid by those same U.S.businesses whose export success depends on securing cost competitive supplies from Canada.

This is where neglect turns to negligence.  The richness of America’s economic partnership with Canada is now expected to pay for free trade with other countries and for covering the costs of even more paperwork, regulation, and delays at our common border.  Higher costs diminish the competitiveness ofU.S.manufacturers and their cross-border supply chains.  And, when our economic partnership erodes, Americans and Canadians both pay the price in terms of higher costs, lost export opportunities, and lost jobs.”



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