A core issue brought about by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks centers around trade, particularly with our neighbors to the north and south. How do we encourage trade with Canada and Mexico while keeping terrorists and other unwanted evils out?

That issue was recently addressed by a panel of experts on international trade and intelligence. Canadian Counsel General Allen Poole, Canadian Counsel Peter Price and Dr. James Olson, senior lecturer and CIA officer in residence at the Texas A&M Bush School, spoke to Mays undergrads in management professor Lorraine Eden’s International Environment of Business course.

“The immediate impact of September 11 was devastating,” says Poole, whose career has been devoted to international trade and investment. “I believe we have to deal with the security dimension, such as keeping out illegal activity and terrorists, without throwing business interaction and trade out the window.”

Olson agrees that encouraging trade and keeping the borders safe should be of top concern. But the U.S. government shouldn’t overlook the important of in-country security, he adds.

“We have to improve intelligence in the United States and toughen our procedures to let people stay and visit,” Olson says. “We can’t pick on the U.S.-Canada and U.S.-Mexico borders as a culprit of terrorism because we shouldn’t slow down or stop our rich trade with them. “