Minister Fast’s Statement Against Proposed U.S. Border Inspection Fee Increases

June 30, 2014 - The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, today issued the following statement:

“I am concerned that proposed increases to fees by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) would impose disproportionate costs on Canadian exporters and commercial transporters, with detrimental effects on our cross-border trade and ultimately on the prosperity of both countries. My concerns have been formally submitted to the U.S. government.

“Canada and the United States have the world’s largest trading relationship, and Canada is by far the largest customer for U.S. goods and services. Bilateral trade in goods and services for 2013 was valued at $782 billion—that’s $2.1 billion a day or $1.5 million every minute. We want to grow this relationship, not stifle it.

“To ensure our mutual prosperity and growth, Canada and the United States must continue to work together to facilitate border trade and strengthen our North American competitiveness. While we believe that government inspection fees should cover the costs of doing business, the proposed APHIS fees unduly affect goods that travel across the border by truck, which represent the majority of Canada-U.S. trade. In fact, the new APHIS fees are expected to cost the Canadian trucking industry an additional $15.5 million. As well, according to the Chamber of Marine Commerce’s estimates, increased inspection costs for Canadian ships could more than double under the new rules.

“Given the unique nature of our trading relationship, Canada-U.S. trade is expected to suffer disproportionately when compared to other country trading relationships with the United States. The market distortion that is being created may not be consistent with U.S. international trade obligations.

“In 2011, President Obama and Prime Minister Harper issued Beyond the Border: A Shared Vision for Perimeter Security and Economic Competitivenessand the Beyond the Border Action Plan, which identify joint priorities and actions to accelerate the legitimate flows of people and goods between both countries, while strengthening security and economic competitiveness. Significant measures have been undertaken and are under way through this initiative. We request that the proposed APHIS fee changes take into account both the spirit and ideals embodied in this shared vision, as well as the reality of our low-risk, high-volume trade.”

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Shannon Gutoskie
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Ed Fast
Minister of International Trade
613-992-7332

Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
343-203-7700
media@international.gc.ca
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