I have just come from the Oval Office, where President Obama and Prime Minister Harper took our relationship to the next level as they announced the Action Plans for Beyond the Border: A Shared Vision for Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness.
The United States and Canada have long been the best of neighbors, friends, partners, and allies. Based on foundations of mutual reliance and respect we have built prosperity at home while standing shoulder-to-shoulder defending our shared values around the world. We have long understood that if we work together we are stronger, more prosperous, and more competitive.
Building on that spirit, in February we set forth a plan for the future of North America. We committed to a shared vision for perimeter security and economic competitiveness. We agreed to work together within, at, and away from our borders to enhance our security, better coordinate our regulatory systems, and accelerate the legitimate flow of people, goods and services. We rejected the false choice between security and efficiency at the border. We realized that by improving the efficiency of the border in smart ways we would enhance the security of North America while lifting the standard of living of our people. We promised to consult with our citizens and to deliver a detailed Action Plan to realize our vision. Today we deliver on that promise.
In 1961, President Kennedy had the opportunity to address the Canadian Parliament. He famously said: “what unites us is far greater than what divides us.” With the actions we take today between our two great countries that statement was never more true.
I invite you to read all about the action plans and what they involve here. We’ve posted all the documents and fact sheets from the United States Government and I’m writing to invite you to learn as much as you can about the plan and what it involves. I invite your comments here and welcome your suggestions and support.