Cheryl Gallant, MP Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke welcomed the announcement by Prime Minister Stephen Harper that a comprehensive border and trade agreement had been concluded with our largest trading partner. While specific details had yet to be finalized, the deal provides the framework to solve trade irritants.

“This is good news for our forestry industry,” stated Cheryl Gallant, MP. “ISPM No. 15 on wood packaging materials can now be dealt with in a way that makes sense for producers and consumers on both sides of the border. Many local jobs depend on a new border agreement. The Prime Minister delivered. Now it is up to industry to help me help them by working out the details.”

On February 4th, 2011 Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the President of the United States issued Beyond the Border: A Shared Vision for Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness. This joint action plan, among other goals, identifies trade facilitation and economic growth and jobs and objectives to be pursued. In addition to this action plan, a Canada-US Regulatory Cooperation Council was created. This Council aims to better align our regulatory approaches to protect health, safety, and the environment while supporting growth, investment, innovation and market openness. 

“As a result of the meeting that I arranged between our wood producers and the Ministers of Agriculture and International Trade, our Conservative Government is well-briefed on the concerns of the forest industry in the upper Ottawa Valley. Annually, plant pests, diseases and invasive alien species cause billions of dollars in direct losses, control and production costs and lost market opportunities for Canada and the US. A perimeter approach to collectively protecting Canada-US territory from the unintentional introduction of these organisms via cross-border movement of wood products would maximize the efforts currently under way in both countries,” said MP Gallant.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the US Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and the US Food Safety and Inspection Service are required to present a plan by December 31, 2012.

“This is a real opportunity to solve the problems created by ISPM No. 15. This also provides an opportunity to deal with some of the other issues that have crept into our relationship with our largest trading partner. Canada is a trading nation. Our ability to solve these problems will determine future economic prosperity for all Canadians,” concluded Cheryl Gallant, MP.

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