Senator objects to border fee plan

Daily Inter Lake

Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., says that a possible border fee for people entering the United States is a bad idea for Montana’s economy.

Tester responded to a U.S. Department of Homeland Security proposal to study whether to impose a tax on individuals entering the U.S. through land ports of entry.

Noting Montana’s high levels of trade and its long border with Canada, Tester called the fee an “unnecessary burden” that would hurt economic development and job creation in the Treasure State.

“Montana has 12 ports of entry on our 545-mile border with Canada and those ports drive tourism and business throughout Montana,” Tester, a member of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, said. “Montana does almost $6 billion in trade with Canada each year. Adding a new fee to cross the border will discourage Canadians from coming to Montana to do business.”

In a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Tester said that a border fee would threaten Montana “communities, trade and commerce at a time when we should be doing all we can to grow our economy.”

He also noted that the Senate Judiciary Committee recently passed a provision that blocks any border fee study.