10.13.21 Advocacy Alert: Canadian Border to Open in November
October 13, 2021
Late last night, U.S. officials announced plans to reopen the U.S. border to vaccinated, non-essential travelers from Canada and Mexico beginning in early November.
The administration told reporters last night that it does not plan to require vaccinated travelers to present a negative COVID-19 test, a notable difference from Canada’s policy for American travelers.
Another important change for cross-border businesses: the administration also said that in January, it plans to require all travelers to be vaccinated to enter the U.S. Currently, essential travelers do not have to be vaccinated to cross.
The decision to reopen our border to Canadian travelers was long overdue. The BNP applauds this move, which will stimulate our cross-border economy and generate needed revenue for the sectors hardest hit by the pandemic.
The border has been closed to Canadian travelers since March 2020. Since April, the BNP has called for its reopening. The loss of Canadian traffic has harmed many businesses in our region, who are used to participation in our cross-border economy. In the BNP's Annual Member Survey, taken last month, 57% of members said the border closure has negatively impacted their business.
Each month as the Biden administration considered whether to renew the closure, the BNP stated our case, partnering with numerous other chambers and members of Congress to make our case. Although this decision should have happened long ago, the BNP is pleased to see this unnecessary barrier removed.
The Biden administration informed members of Congress about the decision, so a formal rule was not immediately released and specific details on the change are not yet public.
The BNP thanks our Congressional delegation, especially Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Brian Higgins, for their tireless advocacy on this issue.
In preparation for the 2023 elections, the BNP hosted an Erie County Executive Candidate Forum. Both candidates for Erie County’s highest office – incumbent Mark Poloncarz and challenger Chrissy Casilio – were given 45 minutes to address BNP members in a guided discussion.
After years of relentless advocacy to bolster Upstate NY’s innovation and manufacturing industries, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Congressman Brian Higgins announced the Buffalo-Rochester-Syracuse region have joined forces with a proposal to become a federally-designated Tech Hub in the first-of-its-kind nationwide competition created in his CHIPS & Science Bill.
The BNP organized a Capital Conversations event as part of our Government Affairs series to examine the workings of the H-1B program and explore potential reforms that could strengthen our regional economy.