FBC Newsletter - January 2023
Happy 2023 from Future Borders Coalition
We are delighted with the growth in our active membership list and how this has allowed us to accelerate our advocacy agenda. Please take a moment to check that your membership is up to date. And, if you’re still thinking about it, please jump off the fence and make a commitment to our important work.
FBC 2023 Wish List
Our wish list for 2023 are a Goldilocks list of things our members want to see more of, and things they like less. FBC’s 2023 list is divided among our three major work streams plus one big, hairy, audacious goal at the end.
Tourism and Travel
Attention to future-oriented trusted traveler programs that will work here, there, and everywhere
Intermodal coordination for seamless and easy end-to-end travel
Learning from the past to create safe and sane pandemic response tools that minimize interruptions to travel and trade
Border policies that consider the full spectrum of cross-border movement from tourism to business travel to conferences and exhibits
Seamless North American travel for visitors from third countries
Collaboration between US and Canadian customs and border-affiliated agencies.
Snags caused by “deciders” not talking to “implementers”
Screening and clearance bottlenecks due to insufficient staffing and inadequate infrastructure
Public information failures
Border Digital Technology
Adherence to the principle of “screened once, cleared twice”
Use of secure and effective digital identity tools
Bilateral alignment of regulations affecting passenger and cargo screening
Use of artificial intelligence and machine learning to support human decision makers
Public education and confidence building
Mandatory digital tools that exceed traveler digital capacity or exclude some travelers
Instances of public uncertainty over use and sharing of data
Technological and regulatory misalignments that impeded the use of most efficient digital tools
Border workforce staffing (including customs, immigration, and agriculture)
Attention to climate resilience and emergency response mechanisms
Inspection and screening away from the border
Single-window and trusted trader initiatives
Supply-chain planning that recognizes systemic interdependence
Facilitation through smart use of data
Funding for research on trade corridors. Re-opening Canada’s Trade Corridors Fund would be a great start!
Compliance burdens caused by excessive data demands
Bottlenecks at the border due to inadequate infrastructure, misaligned policies, skewed incentives, and insufficient staffing
Trade and compliance measures that are unnecessarily burdensome on SMEs
So What Now?
The FBC wish list is not idle talk. These issues are exactly the topics that FBC Working Groups are dedicated to through our 2023 Action Plan. Want to get involved our Working Groups? Add your voice? Contact Henna Rennie at email@example.com.
The Big Ask
Our big ask for 2023 is the launch of a new Canada-US border travel and trade collaboration with dedicated government funding and staffing as well as specific targets and timelines. Previous initiatives such as the Smart Border Action Plan, the Security and Prosperity Partnership, and the Beyond the Border Action Plan were not failures, but many of their elements have been left behind by changing global conditions and technological advancements. Nevertheless, these formalized, binational commitments were catalysts for getting things done. FBC is asking U.S. and Canadian policymakers to apply fresh thinking to solving joint challenges and building regional competitiveness. The bilateral, Canada-US relationship is our most important economic and security relationship and should not be managed as an afterthought.
While it ain’t perfect, FBC salutes the diligent efforts of U.S. and Canadian officials to find a path forward with NEXUS trusted traveler enrollments and renewals. New initiatives at the Peace Bridge and Ogdensburg, NY are indicative of creative problem solving by officials and good will between the two nations. Keep up the good work!
FBC was featured in a lot of media recently. Whether we’re talking about general U.S.-Canada relations or specific concerns related to transportation or preclearance staffing, FBC is active in both countries as a voice for bilateral cooperation and advancement.
The Hill (December 2022), Preclearing tourists and business travelers is good for America. Why can’t it be staffed correctly?
Canada West Foundation, (December 2022), Experts look at U.S.-Canada Transportation Opportunities
Toronto Star (November 2022), Post Midterms, Canada should expect little from a divided Congress
Getting to know you
Q4 2022 was the season of roadtrips and FBC community outreach! As a keynote speaker at both the TIAC Tourism Congress 2022, and IE Canada Fall International Trade Congress, Laura Dawson had the chance to interact with two of our most important tourism and supply chain partners. Keynotes and private executive briefings with the Business Council of Alberta and Canadian Global Affairs Institute in November helped to put western North America issues on the radar screen and make our work known to a wider audience. We are also delighted to add the North Country Chamber of Commerce to our membership roster.
Our first 2023 event is a Digital Identity and Facial Biometrics webinar on January 11 featuring Casey Durst, Executive Director, Operations, Office of Field Operations, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Denis Vinette, Vice-President of the Travellers Branch, Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).
For more information and to register, CLICK HERE.
Watch your inbox for more information about other webinars, working groups, a possible Ottawa Travel Meeting in Spring 2022 and our big Washington DC Fall Summit. (We’ll send save-the-dates for the big meeting as soon as possible.)
Member and community activity
Hat tip to CP for building community spirit through their marvelous Holiday Train 2022. Also, we were excited to hear about a virtual cargo pre-screening pilot launched by UPS and CBSA. This is the kind of innovative thinking and cooperative problem-solving we love to see! Congratulations to Transport Canada for the release of the Supply Chains Task Force Report! FBC members look forward to working with you on implementation. Another great source of actionable ideas is the 2022 State of the Ontario Tourism Industry Report put together by the TIAO and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce.
Jim Phillips Scholarship Fund
Future Borders Coalition friend and mentor, Jim Phillips, passed away in July 2020. As the founder of the Canadian American Border Trade Alliance, Jim occupied the role of problem-solver-in-chief on border issues for many years. You can see a few of the tributes to Jim here and here. Now, his friends have an opportunity to honor Jim and his legacy through a memorial scholarship at Davis & Elkins College, where Jim graduated from in 1957 and was well known as an alumnus for organizing football reunions. Click the link here to make a contribution and please remember to write "James D Phillips Memorial Scholarship" in the webform comments.
Help us build a better border
FBC is committed to building a better border for travel and trade. You can help through expert advice, membership, and financial support. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.