June 22-26, 2001

 
 
ADOPTED RESOLUTIONS: INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

INSPECTIONS ON THE U.S.- CANADA BORDER

WHEREAS, United States-Canada two-way trade is one of the fastest growing major segments of economic activity in the world, having doubled from 1989 to 1998 and expected to double again by 2005; and

WHEREAS, $1.4 billion in goods and services crosses the U.S.-Canada border every day; and

WHEREAS, passenger car traffic between Detroit and Windsor has grown at a rate of at least 4 percent over the past five years, commercial truck traffic between Detroit and Windsor has nearly doubled in the past 10 years, and other Northern border crossings have recorded similar increases; and

WHEREAS, while the Canadian government has added approximately 180 primary inspectors at its border crossings over the past few years, the United States has added no primary inspection resources to the northern border for 20 years-for example, while Canada provides approximately 325 primary customs inspectors at the Detroit-Windsor bridge and tunnel crossings, the United States government provides approximately 68; and

WHEREAS, the Canadian border with the United States is at least double that of the Mexican border, yet Customs officers doubled at the Southern border from 1991 to 1998 with no increases along the northern border; and

WHEREAS, at least one Canadian city has reported that its emergency response vehicles have been delayed or rerouted due to traffic congestion caused by vehicles waiting to enter the United States; and

WHEREAS, at any given time, routinely half of the existing processing lanes (in total) on the U.S.-Canada Border remain closed due solely to under-staffing of U.S. Customs and INS primary Inspectors;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that The United States Conference of Mayors urges the U.S. Customs Service and the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service to implement the recently completed U.S. Customs Service's Resource Allocation Model (RAM) and the results of the U.S. INS Workforce Analysis Model (WAM) through the appropriation of necessary funds for this purpose by the U.S. Congress, as these analyses have determined the personnel levels needed for the efficient movement of people, goods, and services crossing the border; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the U.S. Conference of Mayors calls upon the U.S. Congress and the President of the United States to ensure that future increases in primary inspectors be distributed along the United States' borders consistent with the flow of people, goods, and services at various ports-of-entry.