Prime Minister Stephen Harper and U.S. President Barack Obama will meet at the White House in Washington on today and emerge to unveil the details of a much-touted border security deal.
Sources have told Postmedia News the agreement will include measures that lead to enhanced tracking of travellers, better cyber-security protection, joint government facilities and improved oversight of overseas cargo shipped to both countries.
The announcement comes 10 months after the two leaders announced the launch of “Beyond-the-Border” negotiations to strike a new accord on perimeter security.
Since then, questions have been raised about the declining state of the relationship between Canada and the U.S.
The Obama administration proposed a “Buy America” jobs bill that would prevent Canadian firms from bidding on U.S. contracts, a move criticized by the Harper government for being trade protectionist.
As well, the Obama government has delayed a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta to the U.S. Gulf Coast, prompting the Harper government to assert the project is needed to create thousands of jobs in both countries.
With that political backdrop, Harper and Obama are keen to announce a border deal today that illustrates significant progress in bilateral relations.