SOURCE: Detroit Regional Chamber

January 18, 2008 16:01 ET

Coalition Supports Congressional Border Representatives in Border Dispute

BELLINGHAM, WA--(Marketwire - January 18, 2008) - The BESTT Coalition supports Congressional Border Representatives such as Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (D-NY) in their efforts to find a reasonable solution to the new border-crossing rules. In spite of their efforts, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is moving forward with their plan to implement untested security procedures at our borders with a looming start date of February 1, 2008.

"During this economic slowdown, we shouldn't be closing our borders to billions of dollars of economic business and trade," said Tim Shea of the Lake Champlain (VT) Regional Chamber, a member of the Coalition. "While we all want secure borders, the plans proposed by DHS will not increase security.

"These new measures will dramatically slow down the flow of commerce across the border at a time when we need it the most," said Sarah Hubbard of the Detroit Regional Chamber and Co-chair of the BESTT Coalition. "With over $1 million of surface transportation trade occurring between the U.S. and Canada every minute, let's use the time that Congress has provided to find the right solution."

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff has faced increasing pressure from lawmakers and border businesses concerned about the negative economic impact his new rules will have on both sides of the border. In response, Secretary Chertoff said this week that those concerned about the pending change in rules should, "grow up."

BESTT is an international coalition of businesses and trade associations from across the United States and Canada who share a common concern about the ramifications of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI). Our goal is to raise awareness of the important cultural and fiscal ties that exist across the 5,500 mile long border, and to help ensure public policies that promote these ties, while still addressing the legitimate security concerns of both countries. For more information, visit www.besttcoalition.com, or call (360) 393-9171.

Contact Information

  • Contacts:

    Sarah Hubbard
    (517) 881-7898

    Ken Oplinger
    (360) 393-9171