OTTAWA – Canada hopes to cement progress on keeping the border open to trade and travellers when Justin Trudeau visits Monday with U.S. President Donald Trump, whose controversial travel ban measures recently created considerable confusion at the 49th parallel.
The two countries have been pecking away for years at a list of measures intended to bolster continental security while ensuring the speedy flow of goods and people across the border.
During his first year in office, Trudeau built on efforts by predecessor Stephen Harper to implement programs set out in the December 2011 Beyond the Border agreement forged by Ottawa and Washington.
The new U.S. president’s strong emphasis on homeland security and extreme vetting of newcomers – spelled out in an executive order on immigration – caught many in Canada off guard and resulted in the cancellation of 200 Nexus trusted-traveller cards held by Canadian permanent residents.
The cards have since been reinstated, but the outcome remains unclear pending court decisions.
Canada is expected to seek assurances from the U.S. on a willingness to work together in a way that avoids such unpleasant hiccups, and keeps mutual projects on track, in the months and years ahead.