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BSC hosts U.S.-Canadian talks about border cooperation

Posted on 3/20/2012

Officials from Canada, North Dakota and Minnesota meet in a public roundtable Tuesday, March 20, to discuss the "Beyond the Border" agreement announced by President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper last December.

The event takes place from 2 to 4:30 p.m. in the Bismarck State College Student Union Prairie Room and concludes with a reception.

Roundtable objective is to outline and discuss the agreement's two action plans for cooperation and policy and business implications for North Dakota and Canada. The plans identify four areas of cooperation and 29 initiatives, which are designed to speed up legitimate trade and travel, improve security in North America, and align regulatory approaches between the two countries.

Dave Clark, BSC executive vice president, opens the roundtable, and Martin Loken, consul general of Canada from Minneapolis, follows with introductory remarks. Chris Gregory from "Beyond the Border" Working Group in Ottawa, Canada, provides an overview of the action plans and the benefits to both countries in ""Beyond the Border: A Shared Vision for Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness."

A panel led by Loken convenes at 2:30 p.m. to talk about implications for North Dakota from regional and national perspectives. Panel members are Timothy Purdon, U.S. attorney for North Dakota, U.S. Department of Justice; Wayne Stenehjem, North Dakota attorney general; Paul Govig, North Dakota Department of Commerce deputy commissioner; Karel Sovak, University of Mary assistant professor; and Chris Gregory.

A Q&A exchange between panel participants and audience members begins at 3:15 p.m. followed by a summary by Consul General Loken.

Canada and the United States share common infrastructure and enjoy the largest bilateral trade and investment relationship in the world. Canada is also North Dakota's largest trading partner with more than $4.6 billion in goods and services crossing the border in 2011.

Border Action Plan
Prime Minister Stephen Harper announcement
President Barack Obama statement
White House Fact Sheet

About Bismarck State College
Bismarck State College, an innovative community college in Bismarck, N.D., offers high quality education, workforce training, and enrichment programs reaching local and global communities. For more information visit

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