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5/8/2019   - Border Staffing Concerns


     The North Country Chamber of Commerce is welcoming action by the Northern Border Caucus in Congress, co-chaired by Rep. Elise Stefanik and Rep. Brian Higgins, raising concerns about the movement of Customs and Border Protection personnel from U.S.-Canadian border crossings to assist the U.S. Border Patrol along the Mexican border.

     "Everyone understands there are growing challenges on the southern border, but the easy answer cannot be to diminish staffing at our northern border. We had to fight for years to get adequate staffing at our northern crossings like Champlain and we just can't slide back to the days of robbing Peter in the north to pay Paul in the south," states Garry Douglas, President of the North Country Chamber of Commerce. "The U.S.-Canadian connection is the single greatest driving force in our regional economy, from tourism to trade, supply chains and investment. This dynamic depends squarely on efficiency and fluidity at our border crossings which in turn is tied to staffing levels. I just spent two days in Ottawa with stakeholders from all along both sides of the U.S.-Canadian border and the concerns are very real, especially as we are just approaching the summer travel season. We thank Congresswoman Stefanik and her caucus colleagues for their continued leadership on behalf of our northern border and our U.S.-Canadian connections." 

     The North Country Chamber of Commerce is the largest business and economic development organization in northern New York and plays a leading role in cross border relations and commerce with Canada generally and Quebec in particular.


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