The U.S. government is proposing to charge a new fee for every vehicle or pedestrian crossing the U.S.-Canada border — an idea that has prompted fierce objections from New York lawmakers who claim the levy would stifle transboundary commerce and undermine recent efforts to ease the flow of people and goods between the two countries.
The Canadian government, too, is raising alarms about the proposal, with an embassy spokesman in Washington telling the Buffalo News that “we’re confident that any study would conclude that the considerable economic damage any fee would do would greatly outweigh any revenue generated.”
The issue flared on Friday in the U.S. after Rep. Brian Higgins, a Democratic congressman from Buffalo, N.Y., drew attention to an item buried deeply in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s proposed 2014 budget, released last week by DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano.
Exactly how and where such a fee…
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