Minister Fast Advances Beyond the Border Action Plan and Canadian Commercial Interests in Chicago

Creating new jobs and opportunities for Canadians the Harper government’s top priority

January 17, 2014 - Chicago, Illinois - Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, met with U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker in Chicago today to reaffirm their shared commitment to the Canada-U.S. Beyond the Border Action Plan.

The two noted the results achieved during the past two years under the Beyond the Border Action Plan and restated a commitment to support their leaders by directing officials to redouble efforts to fully implement the initiatives to continue to create jobs and economic growth while ensuring shared security and prosperity.

The Declaration on a Shared Vision for Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness, and its accompanying Beyond the Border Action Plan, announced by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and President Barack Obama in 2011, are invaluable tools for developing innovative approaches to cooperation and border-clearance processes that will generate benefits for workers and businesses in both countries and enhance the North American production platform and enable it to soar to new heights within the fiercely competitive global economy.

Delivering on the Beyond the Border Action Plan initiatives is vital to strengthening economic competitiveness and securing increased flows of prosperity-generating goods, services and people. Minister Fast and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Pritzker are committed to achieving the long-term objectives of the Beyond the Border vision, by deepening engagement with stakeholders to further strengthen the Canada-U.S. partnership, the greatest economic relationship the world has ever known.

Quick Facts

  • The value of Canada-U.S. bilateral trade in goods and services surpassed $742.5 billion in 2012, with over $2 billion worth of goods and services crossing the Canada-U.S. border every day—more than $1.4 million traded every single minute.
  • More than 70 percent of Canada’s exports go to the United States. Canada is the number one destination for exporters in 38 U.S. states.
  • Two-way merchandise trade between Canada and Illinois was worth $57.3 billion in 2012, more than double the total value of trade between Canada and the United Kingdom, Canada’s fourth-largest national merchandise trading partner.
  • Canadian companies, in 17,000 U.S. locations, employ a total of more than 675,000 Americans. In Illinois alone, 24,000 people are employed by Canadian-owned businesses and almost 300,000 rely on trade with Canada for their livelihoods.
  • Illinois is the largest export destination for Canadian crude oil—the bulk of which goes to Midwestern refineries.


“In our discussions, and in wider consultations with key industry and business leaders, we committed to deepening our engagement with Canadian and American stakeholders as we continue to move the Action Plan initiatives forward, recognizing that Canada and the United States have the largest bilateral trading relationship in the world, with two-way trade in goods and services surpassing $700 billion in 2012, supporting millions of jobs in both countries.” - Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade
“U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and I noted that with more than 100 ports of entry, as well as our highly integrated supply chains, removing red tape and streamlining processes to ensure the efficient movement of people and goods are crucial to the daily lives of our citizens, the health of our communities and the competitiveness of our economies.” - Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade

Associated Links


Rudy Husny
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Ed Fast
Minister of International Trade

Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
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