Tester Statement on Continued Closure of Northern Border

Senator: “I disagree with the Biden Administration’s decision to keep the northern border closed.”

U.S. Senator Jon Tester today released a statement following news that the northern border would remain closed for at least another month:

“I disagree with the Biden Administration’s decision to keep the northern border closed. Montanans depend on cross-border trade and travel to meet their bottom lines and keep their businesses afloat as well as to stay in contact with family and friends in both countries who haven’t seen each other in person for more than a year. I urge the Biden Administration to reverse this disappointing decision and re-open the northern border as quickly as possible to vaccinated Canadian travelers so that both of our economies can continue to fully rebound.”

Tester began calling for the border to fully re-open in May, writing in a letter to the Biden Administration “each day that passes without resolution is a hit to family farmers and ranchers, small businesses, and the rural communities along the border,” and urging them to work with their Canadian counterparts to quickly and safely open the border. He followed up on that in July with a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas pressing the Administration to coordinate with the Canadian reopening in a “safe, fair, and efficient manner.”

Montana shares a 545 mile border with Canada and is home to many border towns whose economies rely on Canadian trade and commerce throughout the year. According to the U.S. Trade Representative, Montana exported $692 million in goods to Canada in 2018, representing 42 percent of the state’s total goods exports.