NEWS
02/05/2018 11:02 EST | Updated 02/05/2018 11:20 EST

More customs facilities, in more places: Canada, US discuss expanding preclearance

WASHINGTON — Imagine Canadian customs facilities in Florida or Arizona; or American customs attached to a car plant in Canada.

It's something the Canadian and American governments are discussing.

They have begun talking about future possibilities for customs preclearance.

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale has finished a first meeting in Washington with his new counterpart — Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.

He says the American administration agrees with the Canadian government that preclearance is a priority and it's time to look beyond current pilot projects and consider future ways to move people and goods through the border faster.

Pre-clearance has been the norm for decades at major Canadian airports; pilot programs are planned in rail stations; Goodale says he's begun considering sites for the first Canadian customs facilities inside the U.S., and his ultimate goal is preclearance for cargo to speed up shipment.