For Immediate Release
DHS Press Office
OTTAWA -- Today, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson concluded a two-day trip to Ottawa, Canada, accompanied by U.S. Ambassador to Canada Bruce Heyman and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Assistant Secretary for International Affairs Alan Bersin, where he met with Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Canadian counterparts to discuss engagement through the Beyond the Border initiative. The trip served as an opportunity for Secretary Johnson to reaffirm the Department of Homeland Security’s support for the unique U.S.-Canada partnership, and to further shared priorities on issues such as counterterrorism, and trade and travel.
Yesterday, Secretary Johnson met with Prime Minister Harper to discuss collaborative efforts to facilitate trade and travel between our two countries including through the Beyond the Border initiative. In February, DHS and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in partnership with Public Safety Canada and the Canada Border Services Agency launched Phase II of the truck cargo pre-inspection pilot at the Peace Bridge crossing between Fort Erie, Ontario and Buffalo, N.Y. Phase II of the pilot will test the ability of the pre-inspection process to reduce wait times and border congestion—streamlining the flow of cross-border trade that is vital to both countries’ economies. The pilot is a key deliverable under the Beyond the Border Action Plan issued by President Obama and Prime Minister Harper in 2011.
While in Ottawa, Secretary Johnson also met with Canadian Transport Minister Lisa Raitt, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander, Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney, and DHS personnel stationed in Canada to discuss other homeland security-related priorities including efforts to further enhance information sharing and integrate our cross-border law enforcement operations, as well as joint efforts to counter violent extremism in our communities.
Earlier today, Secretary Johnson delivered remarks at the Canadian American Business Council, where he highlighted the continued partnership between the two countries to facilitate legitimate trade and travel that supports our economies, while maintaining the highest standards of security. An example of this partnership is the NEXUS program, which allows pre-screened travelers expedited processing by U.S. and Canadian officials through dedicated processing lanes at designated northern border ports of entry, Canadian airports, and marine reporting locations. NEXUS members are automatically eligible to use Global Entry kiosks when entering the United States.
For more information, visit www.dhs.gov.