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DelBene Applauds Expansion of Preclearance with Canada

The United States and Canada signed an agreement to expand pre-clearance travel programs, boost cross-border commerce

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Washington, DC, March 16, 2015 | comments

Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01) today attended the signing of a pre-clearance agreement between the United States and Canada. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and Canadian Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney were the signatories of the agreement.

DelBene applauded the agreement, which over time will have far-reaching economic benefits for Washington’s First District. The deal sets the stage to reduce congestion and border-crossing wait-times.

“The commerce and tourism that comes with sharing a border is a critical factor in maintaining a vibrant economy,” DelBene said. “We must do everything we can to reduce barriers to the flow of visitors and commerce along our Northern border.”

Washington’s First Congressional District borders Canada and has five points of entry.

According to the Associations for Washington Tourism Alliance, international visitors spent $2 billion in the state during 2013 – and most of Washington’s foreign visitors are Canadians.

The pre-clearance agreement will allow for the immigration, customs and agriculture inspections required for entry into either country to occur on foreign soil and reduce congestion and delays at the border by increasing efficiency and predictability in cross-border travel, tourism and transportation. The United States and Canada must enact legislation for the agreement to be implemented.

“Reducing border wait-times will encourage even more Canadians to cross into our great state, supporting our local economy,” DelBene said. “This foundational step will be a big win for Washington’s First District going forward.”

The administration’s announcement comes as DelBene announced her plans to reintroduce the Promoting Border Commerce and Travel Act to prevent the creation of a land-border crossing fee.

“Tourist border crossing fees would have an immediate and detrimental effect on the local economies of our border communities,” DelBene said. “The Promoting Border Commerce and Travel Act would stop these fees before they could be implemented.”

The Congresswoman originally introduced the legislation in 2013 after the President’s budget request included language authorizing a study on the feasibility of charging travelers for entering the United States at land crossings.

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