Montana Sen. Tester to Biden – Open The Canadian Border
The Canadian border with the US has been restricted since March of 2020 and Montana Senator Jon Tester, along with seven other northern border state senators want the border opened to vaccinated Canadians. Canada opened its border to vaccinated Americans in August, but the US is continuing its ban on "non-essential travel" from Canada, which is reviewed every month.
Montana has over 500 miles of Canadian borderline with plenty of towns whose economies are dependent on cross-country trade. Tester, in a news release, said that the U.S. Trade Representative recorded a yearly total of over $690 million in trade exported just from Montana, which is over 40 percent of the state's total exports. That figure is from 2018, before the COVID pandemic hit. Also, families who have members in each country are restricted.
In the letter to President Joe Biden, the Senators wrote, "We appreciate the need to prioritize the health and safety of the American public through reasonable restrictions on international travel. However, we believe that fully vaccinated Canadians should be allowed to safely travel into the United States via land ports of entry. We urge you to lift these restrictions before October, provide a plan for reopening land ports of entry and appoint an interagency lead of US-Canadian border restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic."
Tester, who is among many elected Montana officials wanting the border open, was joined in the letter by Democratic Senators from New Hampshire, Maine, Michigan, New York and Minnesota. Tester had earlier urged re-opening the border back in May, also writing to the Biden administration. Then, in July he wrote to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, requesting a border opening in a "safe, fair and efficient manner."