Following the terror attacks on the United States in September 2001, the country briefly closed all borders. The consequences for cross-border trade with Canada were swift and immediate. Following more than a decade of efforts by trade and transportation policymakers in both countries to facilitate greater economic integration and cross-border trade since 9/11, the US administration under Donald Trump may again seek to thicken its border with Canada. This systematic review evaluates 13 years of research on the consequences of post-9/11 border thickening on Canada-US trade and commercial relations. Applying rigorous methods for the conduct of systematic reviews, 19 studies were included in the final analysis and grouped into four analytic themes: aggregate trade, sector, region, and passenger flows. We find that overall bilateral trade was negatively impacted following 9/11 but Canadian economic interests were harmed more seriously than those of the US. We also find differing consequences for cross-border flows according to region, sector and firm size. In addition, efforts focused on border transport policies to mitigate these consequences were effective but underutilized, especially in regions and sectors that did not depend on cross-border integration. Our findings offer important long-term lessons for policymakers on both sides of the border.

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Keywords 9/11, Border security, Border thickening, Canada-US, Trade flows
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Journal Transport Policy
Smith, M.J. (Matthew J.), Ray, S.B. (Sayan Basu), Raymond, A. (Aaron), Sienna, M. (Micah), & Lilly, M. (2018). Long-term lessons on the effects of post-9/11 border thickening on cross-border trade between Canada and the United States: A systematic review. Transport Policy. doi:10.1016/j.tranpol.2018.03.013