Tester: Border fee bad idea for Montana

Senator calls for proposals that grow economy, create jobs

(U.S. SENATE) – Senator Jon Tester says making people pay a fee to cross the border between the United States and Canada is bad for Montana businesses and bad for Montana jobs.

Tester is responding to a U.S. Department of Homeland Security proposal to study whether to impose a tax on individuals coming into the U.S. from Canada at land ports of entry.

Tester, noting Montana’s high levels of trade and long border with Canada, 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,” said Tester, a member of the Senate Homeland Security Committee. “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.”

Tester is making his border fee opposition clear to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, telling the department head that a border fee threatens Montana “communities, trade, and commerce at a time when we should be doing all we can to grow our economy.”

In his letter to Napolitano, Tester also highlighted a bipartisan provision that recently passed the Senate Judiciary Committee that blocks any border fee study.

Cross-border trade with Canada is so important to Montana’s economy that Tester this month successfully pushed U.S. Customs and Border Protection to match Canada’s extended summer hours at the Port of Wild Horse to allow more trade and commercial traffic to use the port.

2013-05-24 Letter to DHS Opposing Border Fee by danmalessa