How the US Land Border Reopening May Affect Canadian Businesses

On Monday, the US decided to reopen its land borders. Canadian business leaders have had a mixed reaction to the news. Some are excited that people will be allowed to cross the border again, but they also expressed concern over the tape.

The Business Council of Canada and The Canadian Chamber opine that the Canadian requirement for returning travelers will need to furnish a recent and negative molecular test is something like an unnecessary obstacle to resuming business travel and tourism. They think that only proof of vaccination should be required, and the test requirement should not be needed.

They even said that Canadian business owners who want to visit an American destination quickly find the test requirements to be cumbersome. It is also quite expensive for families that want a reunion with their loved ones or crave a quick vacation to the US.

Perrin Beaty, Chamber President, said, "If we believe, as we should, that being fully vaccinated is the best way of minimizing risk, we should be trusting the vaccination systems. We should be monitoring what's taking place in terms of outbreaks in the two countries."

Goldy Hyder, the President of Business School in Canada, said, "It's a competitive disadvantage to Canada and North America to have rules that are inconsistent with where most of the world is moving to."

Though the US doesn't want travelers from Canada to provide a negative COVID-19 test, the Canadian government wants it for citizens and permanent residents if they want to enter Canada.

Meredith Lilly, the Simon Reisman Chair in trade policy at Carleton University's Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, stated that it would take some time before the impact of different lockdowns and border closures on key aspects of international trade (labor mobility) becomes visible.

Lilly said, "We have all just been subjected to the world's largest experiment in digitalization. Many of us have been forced to learn how to operate in the digital environment and not travel to do work that once required us to be in person. I don't know that we yet fully understand the consequences of … whether that is going to impact the liberalization of labor mobility, where people were mega-commuting, and where we saw labor mobility as kind of a big, important part of 21st-century globalized trade."

Lilly also mentioned the aftermath of the horrific 9/11 attacks and anti-terrorism measures, and new border security that followed them could be instructive in the next few years. She said that day trips between the two nations reduced considerably at that time due to "the unfriendly border phenomenon in which travelers opt to forgo trips out of reluctance to face heightened scrutiny."

She also said that the expense and the inconvenience of getting a PCR test could be discouraging. It might negatively impact tourism and lead to a decline in spontaneous and short trips. She said small businesses might not be able to absorb the costs of tests as large companies can.

To know the details of border reopening, click here.

Also, read how a New York border town is welcoming Canadians again!

by Shruti , BNS Business News


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