WASHINGTON, D.C. — The head of the Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association, Peter Nelson, has voiced concerns over rising border administration costs during a recent Border Trade Alliance conference in Washington, D.C.
During the conference, Nelson told US Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano that the trucking industry in Canada is paying $1 billion in new fees every year to cross the border. Nelson called these fees a trade barrier, adding that Atlantic Canada imports fruit and produce from Florida, the US Southwest, southern California and Mexico all year long.
Secretary Napolitano agreed that the US cannot continue to “fee” its way to a safe border, adding that the “rule of reason has to apply.” However, Secretary Napolitano suggested the “beneficiaries” of trade with the US have to assume the administrative costs to manage the border, rather than US tax payers. Nelson replied that it was Canadian consumers that ultimately paid these border processing fees in higher costs of goods imported from the US.
Napolitano said the goal of the new Obama administration to have a modern, efficient, safe and secure border for people and commerce in North America.
Nelson stated that the trucking industry is disturbed by the thickening of the border between Canada and the US, noting that all Canadians are impacted by US legislation being made in the name of border security.
Nelson also reminded Secretary Napolitano that Atlantic Canada welcomed 30, 000 air travellers into their homes when they were stranded in the air on 9/11, before inviting her to visit Atlantic Canada and experience the culture of its border communities.
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