Tester to Biden Administration: Extend Hours of Operations at Ports of Entry in Montana

In new letter to the Department of Homeland Security, Senator reiterates request to extend hours of operations at Port of Raymond and Port of Piegan

Continuing his aggressive push to fully reopen the northern border and resume full trade and commerce with Canada, U.S. Senator Jon Tester today sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reiterating his request to extend the hours of operations at ports of entry in Montana.

In his letter to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Tester specifically calls on the Administration to extend the hours of operations at the Port of Raymond and the Port of Piegan.

“Earlier this month, I shared concerns I hear directly from Montanans regarding the reduced hours of operations at the Port of Raymond and Port of Piegan. This reduction in service creates unnecessary burdens on Montana’s economy. Specifically, I reiterate my request that the Port of Raymond be reopened to 24/7 and that hours at the Port of Piegan be extended to 7:00am-11:00pm to match operations at the new seasonal hours at the Port of Carway in Canada,” wrote Tester.

Tester concluded his letter by emphasizing that the northern ports of entry play a key role for Montana’s economy, writing: “Extending hours at these ports of entry is critical for communities across Montana.”

Tester has been an outspoken critic of the Biden Administration’s refusal to reinstate pre-pandemic hours of service at northern ports of entry.

Earlier this month, Tester led a bipartisan letter to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) pressing the agency to return the hours of operations at northern ports of entry to pre-pandemic hours or, at minimum, match the operating hours of Canadian ports.

In February, Tester called on the Biden Administration to fully reopen all ports of entry in Montana to pre-pandemic hours and terminate the vaccination requirements for Canadian truck drivers entering the United States through land ports of entry. His letter came directly after meeting with Montana farmers and business owners who rely on trade and travel across the northern border via Ports like Raymond, Opheim, and Morgan.

Montana shares a 545 mile border with Canada and is home to many border towns whose economies rely on Canadian trade and commerce. According to the Canadian Trade Commissioner, Canada is Montana’s top international trading partner, buying more from the state than the next six states combined. Reports by the U.S. Trade Representative estimate that Montana exported $692 million in goods to Canada is 2018, representing 42 percent of the state’s total goods exports.

Tester’s full letter to the DHS is available HERE.