Following the North American Working Group organizational meeting December 9, 2016, in the Woodlands, several meetings were convened in January and February 2017 in Mexico City, Monterrey and Saltillo, and a Workshop undertaken on March 15, 2017, in Plano, TX, where the task forces further defined current challenges and recommendations.

The actions moving forward continue to be focused on protecting the U.S. and Mexico trade positions, enhancing economic growth, promoting employment and ensuring national and regional security,
-Leveraging technology and innovation to impact the nations’ security, immigration, food supplies and workforce development;
– Analyzing the countries’ energy balance;
– Protecting and ensuring critical transportation and infrastructure assets along roads, rail, air and maritime;
– Reviewing international trade agreements in North America;
– Analyzing current state of offshoring high value technology jobs and impact on the North American talent pool;
– Analyzing extent of critical systems of North American companies being managed abroad.

The Working Group has established preliminary recommendations in four categories:
1. Smart Border:
– Ensure the private sector is adequately involved in the enablement of smart technology to meet current challenges;
– Develop enhanced security and reliability in the transfer of goods and services:
a. Delineate the security process by creating clearance zones;
b. Expand the borders – north and south;
c. Collaborate and foster cross-border investments;
d. Expedite document process with advanced email services and cybersecurity;
e. Enhance integrated biometric tracking and other technologies to benefit users;
f. Promote funding initiatives at major commerce points.

2. Supply Chain & Manufacturing:
– Analyze and advise stakeholders on impacts of international trade, investments and trade agreements;
– Enable workforce and talent pool through advanced programs on digital communications technology and technical education;
– Trusted Trader/Tracker Program (“make, move and track”):
a. A self-opt in, global entry model;
b. Companies and employees vetted for fast track border crossing;
c. Qualitative vetting processes;
d. Goods and services are tracked from origin, mode of delivery and final destination;
e. Data sharing among the partner countries;
f. Workforce and Talent Pool development.

3. Energy & Utilities:
– Establish a North American Energy Consortium (NAEC);
– Implement a smart dominated grid for renewable energy in the border region where energy demand and supply can cross national borders:
a. Fund renewable energy projects to satisfy the energy needs of the border region, powered by energy sources located throughout the region;
b. Improve the electric grid for the cross-border region to improve quality of electric distribution to its citizens;
c. Implement cross-border on-demand facilities;
d. Implement “smarts” in the large energy consumers in the region to measure and analyze demand;
– Cross-border pipeline crossings.

4. Private Public Partnership Financing:
– Build solution provider ecosystem;
– Bring together institutional investors (Build, Operate & Transfer “BOT”);
– Create “user” investment model;
a. Target border commuters for efficient and secure crossings;
b. Recurring revenue stream – subscription/per crossing (i.e., Tijuana, Sam Zell);
c. Advocate PPP initiative to Congress

The final report will be presented at the Annual Board of Directors Meeting in Washington, D.C.