CALGARY, AB – A Canada-U.S. infrastructure bank would protect current jobs and create new ones on both sides of the border while enhancing our country’s relationship with its largest trading partner, argues a Canada West Foundation paper released today.

The paper, entitled Some Assembly Required: Cross-border infrastructure that creates jobs and growth, states that the efficient movement of goods across borders is critical to growing and protecting jobs that are tied to integrated supply chains between the two countries. The auto industry is so integrated, for example, that the production of a vehicle involves up to 7,050 customs transactions.

The report states that inefficiencies created by inadequate infrastructure adds costs, suppresses productivity and therefore wages, limits global competitiveness and threatens jobs. Delays at U.S. and Canadian border crossings cost Canada between $15 billion and $30 billion Cdn every year. While U.S. exports to Canada are slightly lower than Canadian exports to the U.S., it is safe to say that the economic impact of border delays has the same disruptive effect on the U.S. economy.

“North America is the only global trade bloc that does not have an independent, permanent trade bank,” said Carlo Dade, Director of the Centre for Trade & Investment Policy. He co-authored the paper with Shafak Sajid, a policy analyst at the Foundation.

There are urgent and ongoing infrastructure needs along the Canada-U.S. border, including bridges and customs services, the paper states. The authors argue that Canada needs to be proactive in engaging with the U.S., which is hungry for smart infrastructure projects that create jobs. “A key role for the bank would be to develop expertise and gather information to plan cross-border infrastructure investments,” said Sajid.

The bank would be a proactive move that demonstrates clearly that Canada is not a “free-rider” in its trade relationship with the U.S.

The Canada West Foundation focuses on the policies that shape the West’s quality of life. For more than 40 years, we have been a passionate advocate for a strong West in a strong Canada.