On February 4, 2011, President Obama and Prime Minister Harper announced the United States-Canada joint declaration, Beyond the Border: A Shared Vision for Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness. Beyond the Border articulates a shared approach to security in which both countries work together to address threats within, at, and away from our borders, while expediting lawful trade and travel.
Since the February 4, 2011 announcement, the Governments of the United States and Canada have worked to identify specific action items to advance the goals of Beyond the Border. These initiatives are described in the Beyond the Border Action Plan, which was released on December 7, 2011 by President Obama and Prime Minister Harper. This Action Plan draws from the expertise and experiences of front-line personnel on both sides of the border. It represents significant commitments by our countries that will make our countries more secure and economically competitive. It was crafted through discussions between our governments and is guided by a mutual respect for sovereignty and our respective constitutional and legal frameworks that protect privacy.
To promote accountability and transparency, each of the initiatives in the Beyond the Border Action Plan includes a timeline for completion, metrics for success, and identifies each government’s lead agency. Additionally, there are several ways for the public to provide input and help ensure this initiative is a success. An Assistant Secretary/Assistant Deputy Minister-level Beyond the Border Executive Steering Committee will coordinate and oversee the implementation of the Beyond the Border Action Plan.