Tester to Biden Administration: Quickly Re-Open U.S.-Canadian Border, Montana’s Economy Depends on It
Senator outlines importance of open border to Montana’s economy, urges swift action
May 19, 2021 (U.S. Senate) – U.S. Senator Jon Tester today urged the Biden Administration to work with Canada to quickly reopen the U.S.-Canadian border. Tester outlined the critical need to safely open the border to trade and travel, which will have an enormous impact on Montana’s economy.
“As a farmer in north central Montana, I hear often from my neighbors and others in the region about the negative impact the continued border closure has on their daily lives,” Tester wrote in the letter to President Biden. “Each day that passes without resolution is a hit to family farmers and ranchers, small businesses, and the rural communities along the border.
Tester’s letter continues: “I am pleased to see reports that U.S. and Canadian officials have begun preliminary discussions about reopening the border. However, there are still no immediate plans to reopen the border and there has been no additional guidance on timing. I urge you to work with the Canadian government to develop an actionable plan to reopen the northern border for all trade and travel in a timely manner. Our governments must continue to work together to establish clear reopening thresholds and policies.”
Tester made clear that any re-opening plan must be transparent and include clear guidance on timing that addresses the ongoing confusion and frustration on both sides of the border. Tester also pressed the Biden Administration to ensure that any plans must include maintaining 24-hour operation at ports of entry and take in to account the unique needs of rural states like Montana.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Tester has pressed the federal government for clarity on the Canadian border closure and urged transparency in the decision-making process.
Securing the northern border and ensuring continued 24-hour operation at ports of entry are among Senator Tester’s top priorities in Congress. As the former top Democrat on the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, Tester has worked to secure the tools and resources needed to keep Montana’s safe, including through Operation Stonegarden which provides annual grants to state, local, and Tribal law enforcement agencies to increase preparedness, coordination, and effectiveness along the state’s 545-mile northern border.
Tester’s full letter can be found HERE