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Chamber Pushes for Restoration of Synchronized Border Crossings

With Canada ending its remaining pandemic-related restrictions and mandates at the border, the North Country Chamber is continuing to push for the restoration of synchronized border crossing policies by the U.S. and Canada.

"Following 9/11, our two countries entered into a long period of active coordination of policies and plans at what was referred to as a shared border," notes Chamber President Garry Douglas. "In an inexplicable act of border mismanagement, this went out the window in 2020 as both countries began imposing and managing border policies unilaterally, effectively shifting from a shared border to two separate borders facing one another." It is noted that separate policies with separate decisions and timetables for changes resulted in the addition of unnecessary confusion, discord and uncertainty for more than two years.

"And now we again see our two countries acting independently, with Canada dropping all remaining restrictions, including allowing the entry of unvaccinated Americans at the land border, but the U.S. failing to reciprocate," says Douglas. "This sends a terrible message to our Canadian friends, and represents continued mismanagement of U.S.-Canadian border policy by Washington."

Douglas indicates the Chamber and other partners are actively seeking U.S. action to match the new Canadian policies, including interaction with Congresswoman Elise Stefanik and other members of Congress, and with Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand. He characterizes the recent response by federal border agencies in Washington as "a chorus of crickets."

"It is critical to the relationship, both economically and socially, that the U.S. reciprocate without undue delay," says Douglas, "and that both countries then recommit to a coordinated approach to a shared border."

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