New bridge agreement approved between Detroit, Ontario

WASHINGTON - Today, the United States, Canada, and the State of Michigan concluded and signed an arrangement regarding the staffing and operation of the U.S. customs plaza at the proposed New International Trade Crossing (NITC) linking Detroit, Michigan and Windsor, Ontario. 

The terms of the arrangement means the U.S. customs plaza will be procured as part of the NITC public-private partnership (PPP) that will finance, design, construct, operate and maintain the rest of the project. The costs of the NITC project will be repaid from future toll revenues.

Under the agreement, the public-private partnership will pay for the construction of customs plazas on both the American and Canadian sides of the bridge, and the U.S. will pay to staff, operate and maintain the customs plaza in Detroit.

Gov. Rick Snyder said he was happy the deal was completed.

"I'm appreciative of the work of our partners in Congress and in the Canadian government to ensure that the New International Trade Crossing - important to both of our countries - continues to move forward," Snyder said. "I will continue to encourage the U.S. government to provide the necessary resources to fund U.S. customs facilities at the NITC project and the Blue Water bridge in Port Huron."

Construction of the customs plaza was one the last unresolved issues surrounding the NITC. 

This arrangement results from several months of productive discussions among the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), the State of Michigan, the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority (WDBA), and Transport Canada.

The United States has supported the construction of the NITC throughout the development process. During this time, it has granted numerous approvals for the project, including issuance of a Presidential permit for construction. The United States will continue to support NITC as it is built and following its completion. For example, the United States estimates that first-year operations and staffing will require an approximately $100 million investment with an ongoing annual requirement of $50 million in annual staffing costs.

The United States and Canada are vital economic partners and steadfast friends. Canada is the largest trading partner of both the United States and the State of Michigan, and many U.S. and Michigan jobs depend on the vitality of U.S.-Canada trade. The Detroit-Windsor Corridor is the largest commercial crossing along the U.S. border with Canada. In 2014, annual trade in goods alone through all Ports of Entry between Canada and the U.S. was approximately $658 billion, and over one quarter of those trade flows relied on the Detroit-Windsor corridor. 

This PPP reflects an innovative approach to developing the needed transportation capacity. It will energize the continued turnaround of Detroit and the ongoing prosperity of the State of Michigan and the U.S. by providing jobs, modern infrastructure, and greater security. These commitments represent progress on the U.S. Canadian "Beyond the Border Initiative," whereby our leaders committed to pursue creative and effective solutions to manage the flow of traffic between the United States and Canada and ensure that border crossings have the capacity to support the volume of commercial and passenger traffic inherent to economic growth and job creation on both sides of the border. The arrangement announced today ensures that we can continue to build momentum on this much-needed trade and transportation link. 

For more information, visit www.dhs.gov.

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