Eliminate border fee proposal

A?proposal in President Barack Obama’s 2014 budget to study the impact of charging a border crossing fee for visitors from?Canada should be eliminated before it’s even discussed.

Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., and other members of Congress have urged Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to reconsider the study, for a variety of reasons.

First, opponents say, charging Canadian visitors to enter the United States would send a bad message, considering many cities in border states like North Dakota often cater to Canadian shoppers. In towns like Sherwood, Canadian visitors are a regular part of business traffic, and many Canadians would likely limit their cross-border shopping trips if a fee was instituted. Simply, the fee would be bad for the international relationship between the two countries, although Canada’s constant filing of lawsuits against seemingly every water project in North Dakota doesn’t exactly help international relations either, but that’s another debate.

Second, Cramer predicted that no matter what a study of the idea recommends, Congress is highly unlikely to ever approve such a fee. So why waste the time and money on a study?

North Dakota and other states enjoy strong relationships with Canadian provinces across the border, and we have no interest in seeing the Canadian traffic coming to our state for business or personal reasons slowed by creating an unnecessary fee. Let’s hope this part of Obama’s budget proposal never sees the light of day.