The United States and Canada today announced new border security, trade and regulatory agreements intended to boost economic growth and job creation in both countries.
"Put simply, we're going to make it easier to conduct the trade and travel that creates jobs, and we're going to make it harder for those who would do us harm and threaten our security," President Obama said following a bilateral meeting at the White House with Prime Minster Stephen Harper of Canada.
"Some 90 percent of all our trade - more than a billion dollars in trade every single day - passes through our roads, our bridges and our ports. But because of old systems and heavy congestion, it still takes too many products too long to cross our borders. And for every business, either Canadian or American, time is money," Obama said.
The president said plans to cut red tape and harmonize regulations between the U.S. and Canada will help "strike a better balance with sensible regulations that unleash trade and job creation, while still protecting public health and safety."
Harper hailed the deals as the most significant steps forward in Canada-U.S. cooperation since the North American Free Trade Agreement.
"These agreements create a new, modern order for a new century," Harper said.
Canada and the U.S. have the largest bilateral trade and investment relationship in the world. Total trade and investment between the United States and Canada topped $1.1 trillion in 2010.
As Canadian reporters noted earlier today, while the deals have received significant media coverage in Canada, they have gone largely unnoticed in the U.S.