Mutual interests

Published: Wednesday, 09/15/2004 12:00 am EDT

"Economic security is also intertwined with national security. More than 32 per cent of Canada's GNP now depends on exports to the United States and approximately half of that value is vulnerable to security-related border disruptions. To put it starkly, 15 per cent of Canada's GNP is directly related to a free and unrestricted flow of goods over the border. There is not a single public policy tool ­ not interest rates, tax policy, debt reduction or anything else ­ that at a stroke could impact so directly on Canada's economic well-being. The border should be the number one priority of Canada today: keeping it open, removing inspections from the choke points of the 49th parallel and improving infrastructure, especially at the critical Windsor corridor, is central to our future. Usefully, we are not alone in relying upon an open border: Canada is the most important destination for exports from 39 U.S. states. We should be able to get at least 39 U.S. governors on side.

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