By Earl Anthony Wayne and Christopher Wilson
Canada, Mexico and the United States are collaborating to enhance security and foster prosperity at North America’s borders, while respecting each nation’s sovereignty. Prime Minister Trudeau, President Peña Nieto and President Obama can give this effort a big boost when they meet for the North American Leaders Summit (NALS) on June 29 in Canada. Given the contentious nature of the public and political debates about border security right now, it will be especially important for the leaders to articulate clearly what it means to build twenty-first century borders that are smart, effective, and meet both the security and competitiveness needs of North America. They should also bless a strong, substantive work agenda to make those objectives reality.
The three countries trade some $3.6 billion in goods and services each day. Over a million citizens of the three nations cross the borders as part of their daily routine. Border management tasks are enormous. But, officials, the private sector and the many states, provinces and cities that benefit from border trade and travel see the tremendous value of a North America in which borders are places of connection and cooperation at least as much as division. Around our borders, the three governments fight illicit activity; help our economies by facilitating legal trade and transit; and work to protect all three societies from threats ranging from terrorism to invasive species and diseases.