Canada and U.S. to sign border, security deal: report

Wed Dec 8, 2010 5:37pm EST
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OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada and the United States are working on a new security and trade deal that would allow people and goods to flow more easily between the two major trading partners, the National Post said on Wednesday.

"The New Border Vision ... will include new common consumer product regulations, a pre-clearance agreement for goods crossing the border to reduce waiting times and the use of advanced technology to utilize biometric data for travelers," said an article on the newspaper's website.

The Post quoted government sources as saying the deal would be announced in early 2011.

Although Canada and the United States already have one of the closest trading relationships in the world, with trade between the two nations well over $1 billion a day. However, Canadian business executives complain that increased U.S. security is delaying shipments of goods.

Asked for a response to the report, a spokesman for Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said "no such announcement is planned. We don't comment on hearsay or speculation."

In March, the U.S. State Department announced it was working on a deal with Mexico -- also called New Border Vision -- to deal with their border issues, fight crime and commit "to the efficient flow of legal commerce and travel".

Canada, the United States and Mexico form the North American Free Trade Agreement. Foreign ministers from the three nations are due to meet in Canada on Dec 13.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; editing by Rob Wilson)