Niagara Gazette

Local News

January 15, 2014

Gillibrand attacks border fee plan

Niagara Gazette — The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's plan to impose border crossing fees — they would also apply to U.S.-Canada trade — appears dead in the water.

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-NY, said the omnibus spending bill being negotiated in Washington currently includes language that prohibits the fees that the DHS has proposed to study.

At present, New York state has 17 border crossings with Canada. In the Buffalo-Niagara area the major commerce corridors are the Peace Bridge, linking Buffalo and Fort Erie, Ont., and the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge. No commercial carriers are allowed on the Rainbow Bridge or the Whirlpool Rapids Bridge, both spans in the City of Niagara Falls.

Gillibrand has argued that "any fee would hurt local economics New York which relies on commerce with Canada." The federal lawmaker cited a National Geographic article stating that 75 percent of the Canadian population lives within 100 miles of the American border.

Gillibrand added: "A new border fee would have been a major setback to our efforts to promote cross-border commerce and tourism, and limit New York's potential for economic growth at one of the worst possible times. I will continue working directly with Homeland Security to ensure our state's economic priorities are a chief concern at every step of the way on any potential study."

From the outset, when the border fee was initially suggested in the spring of 2013, Rep. Brian Higgins, D-Buffalo, Niagara Falls, has staunchly opposed the measure, calling it short-sighted and warning that it could become a barrier to economic growth in Western New York. At the time, the DHS was exploring the possibility of charging pedestrians and passenger cars a crossing fee at the Canadian and Mexican borders to fund its operations at ports of entry.

A spokesman for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, a branch of DHS, said the study also would consider how the additional fee might affect the public.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
House Ads
AP Video
Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page
Poll

Do you think cigarette sales to non-Native American customers should be taxed on reservations?

Yes. Items should be taxed like they are everywhere else.
No, the indian reservations are sovereign land and they are selling them on their land.
Not up to me. Native Americans decide the rules on their land.
Don't care. Smoking isn't good for you.
     View Results