After years of advocating for an increase in policies that would streamline cross border movement, the Buffalo Niagara Partnership can cross another item off our advocacy agenda.
Late last week, Congress passed the Promoting Travel, Commerce and National Security Act. This Act allows U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents to operate in Canada, permitting U.S. officials to inspect truck cargo at the larger inspection plaza on the Canadian side in Fort Erie. President Obama is expected to sign the legislation without any difficulties. The passage of this bill is the first step in implementing pre-clearance at border crossings in Buffalo Niagara and the rest of the northern border.
Now, we must wait for Canada to pass similar legislation. This legislation was introduced in June and is expected to come before Parliament in January. Upon its passage, the two countries would need to outline next steps in implementing pre-clearance at the Peace Bridge.
The Partnership has worked diligently with its stakeholders to advocate for the passage of this legislation. Moving into 2017, we look forward to continuing this work to ensure Canada’s support and full implementation of pre-clearance.
UPDATE: On December 16th, the President signed into law the Promoting Travel, Commerce, and National Security Act of 2016. Now we await the passage of similar legislation in Canada.