Bush and Chretien debut speedier border plan

| Wednesday, September 11, 2002

President George Bush and Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien met at Detroit's Ambassador Bridge Sept. 9 to announce two programs to increase border security and efficiency.

Under the Free and Secure Trade agreement (FAST), American and Canadian companies will register their goods, trucks and drivers with their governments so border inspectors can review this information up to an hour prior to arrival.

"Once the agents have determined the safety of each shipment, the trucks can cross in special lanes, using tested technology, technology that the Prime Minister and I just saw," President Bush said.

"Border inspectors will be able to instantly verify the contents and identify each truck as it pulls up. Stop times will be reduced from a few minutes to seconds, and that's important."

Bush also announced expansion of a program to issue special photo identifications to people who are screened to ensure they are not security threats to either country. These cards entitle people to travel across the border in dedicated lanes, where there will be little or no delay for inspections.

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