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US-Canada border conference to feature trade, security, mobility experts

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The NEXTRANS Center, with the assistance of the government of Canada (avec l’appui du gouvernement du Canada) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), will host a Nov. 16 conference on U.S.-Canada border trade, security and mobility challenges.

border-conferenceThe daylong event — titled In Step, In Line, On Time: Regional Strategies for Trade, Security, and Mobility Challenges at the U.S.-Canada Border — will provide an opportunity for researchers and private-sector stakeholders in the Great Lakes region to engage in a dialogue with high-level officials of the U.S. and Canadian government.

The conference will run from 7:30a to 5:30p in the Purdue Memorial Union. Registration is $50, but students are admitted free. For a complete agenda, online registration, hotels, travel information and sponsorship information, go online to

Indiana, known as the Crossroads of America, has a vested interest in the efficiency of the U.S.-Canada border. U.S.-Canada merchandise trade totaled $535 billion in 2007, supporting nearly 150,000 Hoosier jobs. In addition to an immediate need for a more secure and trade-efficient border, there is a longer-term need for building a transportation infrastructure for 21st century trade and commerce.

Greg Nadeau, deputy administrator of the Federal Highway Administration, will deliver the keynote address. Robert Noble, Canadian Consul General at Detroit, and Kevin Johnson, U.S. Consul General in Toronto, will speak on the significance of a seamless and secure border with regard to bilateral trade between the two countries.

Paul Haddow, director general of strategic policy and governance for the Canada Border Services Agency, will speak on security issues. Industry presenters will include David Bradley, chief executive officer of the Canadian Trucking Association. Additional border trade, security and mobility experts from the public, private and academic sectors will join them to discuss:

  • Major challenges and opportunities to achieve the right balance between trade goals and security needs from the perspectives of the U.S. and Canadian governments.
  • Regional strategies for developing major gateways and corridors with collaborations between transportation stakeholders at the federal and state-provincial levels.
  • The “thickening” of the border from the perspective of manufacturers and carriers and the feasibility of short- and near-term measures by border agencies.
  • How academia can fill the data and information gaps to facilitate integrated, coordinated and performance-based operation and governance of the border region.
  • Short-, medium- and long-term opportunities for collaboration and joint actions among government, industry and academia in the region and between the two countries.

NEXTRANS is the U.S. Department of Transportation Region V Regional University Transportation Center, led by Purdue and administered by Purdue’s Discovery Park. The center was established in 2007 through the USDOT’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration to lead a multidisciplinary program of transportation research, education and technology transfer.

Organizations assisting in the conference development include the Federal Highway Administration; Transport Canada; Customs and Border Protection; General Services Administration; Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Canada; Detroit Regional Chamber; Indiana Department of Transportation; Michigan Department of Transportation; and Ministry of Transportation, Ontario.

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