Canadian travellers slapped with border-crossing surcharge

By Karl Gotthardt

In a move that’s troubling between the two nations, the Obama Administration has decided to slap a $5.50 surcharge on Canadians traveling to the U.S. by sear or by air.  About 18 Million Canadians cross the border yearly.  Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean were previously exempted from the deal.

The American Ambassador to Canada dismissed the charge apparently by saying that the US government was broke and needed to raise funds.  Apparently taxing foreigners is an easy way to do it.

The Canadian government, which has negotiated a perimeter defence deal with the US, was blindsighted by this move of the Administration.  Needless to say the Canadian Government is not impressed.

“Raising taxes at the border just raises costs on consumers,” International Trade Minister Ed Fast said in a statement. “Canadian officials have raised concerns about the removal of this exemption at the highest level. We will continue to raise Canada’s concerns with U.S. lawmakers.”

Canada, in addition to fighting this tax, has also been lobbying for the approval of the XL Keystone Pipeline.  Concerns were also raised about the “Buy American” provision in Obama’s Jobs bill.

The economies of the U.S. and Canada are highly integrated.   This includes the big three, which have factories on either side of the border.  Approximately $1.8 Billion in trade moves across the border daily and efficiency in the processing of goods is essential to make the system work.  Since 9/11 there have been a substantial number of aggravations along the border, one of them being the requirement of passports.

This fee would indicate that the United States is in dire straits.  Blindsiding you neighbours seems to be a hallmark of the Obama Administration.   It is incredible that the US government would take such measures against its northern neighbour.  Welcome to Fortress America.

OTTAWA — In a move that’s straining already threadbare Canada-U.S. relations, Canadians travelling by air or boat to the United States face a new $5.50 surcharge being implemented by the Obama administration.

As the Harper and Obama governments battle over Buy American rules in the U.S. jobs bill and other irritants, the two trading partners are now at odds over the surcharge on Canadians, Mexicans and others travelling stateside.

A bizarre provision in the U.S.-Colombia free-trade deal officially signed into law Friday by President Barack Obama will see the Americans repeal an exemption that has excluded travellers from Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean from paying the customs user fee to enter the United States by air or sea.

The “passenger inspection” levy — which first surfaced early this year — would apply to all commercial air and marine travellers from Canada, Mexico and Caribbean nations, and would be added to the cost of an airplane or boat ticket.

About the Author

Karl Gotthardt - Politisite Managing Editor Maj. Gotthardt is a Retired Military Officer with 35 years service in the Canadian Armed Forces. He spent most of his time in the Military in Infantry Battalions. Karl took part in training for Afghanistan as an Operator Analyst with the Canadian Maneouvre Training Centre. Karl is a qualified military parachutist and military free fall parachutist. He earned his U.S. Master Jump Wings in Fort Benning, Georgia. Karl enjoys working with horses for the last 24 year. He owns six. He has experience in breeding, training and of course riding.Karl was born in Germany and is fluent in both English and German and he speaks enough French to "get in trouble". Karl has written or writes at NowPublic, All Voices, Tek Journalism and many others.

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