Tester to new Border Patrol chief: Restore extended summer hours at Port of Wild Horse
(U.S. SENATE) – Senator Jon Tester is urging new Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Gil Kerlikowske to reinstate the Port of Wild Horse’s extended summer hours to promote tourism and economic development in north-central Montana.
Tester, who successfully got CBP to extend Wild Horse’s summer hours two years ago, said that the agency’s decision to cut back on hours would increase uncertainty and hurt economic development.
“Canada is Montana’s biggest trading partner and as both economies continue to improve, traffic across the border will only increase,” Tester said. “Keeping Wild Horse open longer will give greater certainty to business owners and tourists on both sides of the border and support jobs in north-central Montana.”
Tester, in a letter, also urged Kerlikowske to station some of the 2,000 new CBP officers in Montana to improve border security and ensure smooth trade between Montana and Canada. Recent projections show truck traffic on pace to increase significantly at several of Montana’s ports as the economy continues to improve.
Canada is Montana’s top export market, purchasing almost $600 million in Montana-made products each year.
Tester previously worked with Kerlikowske when he was the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy. Last summer, the two held a listening session on drug trafficking in the Bakken.