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Borders
EconomicImpactReport    


Southeast Michigan's unique geographic position, existing transportation infrastructure, and economic base form an integral gateway to Canada, the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway, Chicago and the Midwest, Mexico, and the world.

The 87-mile border between Southeast Michigan and Southwest Ontario is North America's busiest and most valuable commercial border crossing. Over 40 percent of U.S. trade with Canada (our largest trading partner) crosses the border in Southeast Michigan.

The objective of the Southeast Michigan/Southwest Ontario Binational Transportation Planning effort is to expedite Southeast Michigan/Southwest Ontario cross-border vehicle and cargo movements by coordinated planning and project implementation.

SEMCOG is involved in and oversees a number of binational transportation planning studies. SEMCOG works both locally (Southeast Michigan/Southwest Ontario) and nationally through coalitions such as the Eastern Border Transportation Coalition and United States Department of Transportation/Transport Canada’s Northern Border Working Group to identify common issues and solutions.

In 1997, SEMCOG and the City of Windsor began to share data and information. Other public and private representatives from Southeast Michigan and Southwest Ontario have since joined this coalition.

SEMCOG is also actively involved with border-related projects such as the New International Trade Crossing Study (formerly known as the Detroit River International Crossing). SEMCOG provides technical support and analyses and continuously reviews and provides feedback. In fact, much of the DRIC’s initial data, maps, and information are the result of earlier SEMCOG efforts. Most of these data and maps have been enhanced and updated through the DRIC process. This new information is then incorporated into SEMCOG’s work to provide consistency. For example, SEMCOG’s traffic model has integrated the international border crossings with Canada in its network for better understanding of current and future transportation needs.

Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI)
Beginning June 1, 2009, U.S. and Canadian citizens are required to present a U.S. Passport Card, Enhanced Driver's License, U.S. Passport, or Canadian Passport for entry into the United States by land or sea from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, or Bermuda.

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