Canadian media outlets are reporting that on Wednesday, President Barack Obama and his Canadian counterpart, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, will announce a new border security pact that is bound to have repercussions for Whatcom County.
Will those repercussions be positive, negative or both? We may have to wait and see.
A key feature: Under the terms of this deal, both countries will get a handle on who is leaving, as well as who is entering.
In the past, some security-minded politicians in Washington, D.C. have suggested that there should be some kind of checkout system at U.S. border crossings. In other words, Canadian shoppers would be asked to check out with U.S. authorities on their way home, as well as check in when they head south.
That idea didn’t strike anyone as conducive to cross-border commerce.
The pending new deal should enable both countries to get information on who is leaving, without setting up their own cumbersome exit-check systems. Instead, the Canadians themselves will give Americans their data on who has crossed the border from Canada into the United States, and the US will do the same for Canada.