While the BC Chamber of Commerce sees the U.S. changing border tactics as a threat, Burnaby's board of trade says it's important for local businesses to have easy access to Canada's southern neighbour.
Although Paul Holden, president and CEO of the Burnaby Board of Trade, said he's received no feedback from local businesses having issues crossing the border, he understands why the provincial chamber has joined a litigation action in a U.S. appeals court.
"A great many Burnaby-based business people frequently cross the border into the U.S. in order to run and grow their businesses, and they rely on the ability to do this in as unencumbered a fashion as possible," Holden told the NOW.
As the Burnaby Board of Trade is no longer a member of the B.C. Chamber of Commerce, it is not part of the filed litigation, he added.
"We would certainly become more concerned about a process that could affect our members' ability to do business south of the border and will be carefully monitoring developments on this issue," Holden said.
While the Burnaby Board of Trade has not heard many local businesses being negatively affected by border security yet, the B.C. Chamber of Commerce has joined a litigation filed in a U.S. court to push back against border measures.
"As our countries strive towards new levels of co-operation through the Beyond the Border Action Plan, these harsh border rules need to be fixed," said John Winter, president and CEO of the B.C. chamber, in a media release. "If an overzealous U.S. border guard targets a B.C. CEO or other key company personnel for expedited removal, that company's business with the U.S. risks grinding to a halt."
The chamber joined with the Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber of Commerce, the Norhtwest Economic Council and Pacific Corridor Enterprise Council to file an "amicus brief" in a pending case in the U.S. appeals court. An amicus brief allows parties who are not involved in a specific legal action to provide courts with more information for a certain case.
This case concerns the issue of the expedited removal of a Canadian citizen seeking entrance to the U.S., by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
"Recent border situations in the Pacific Northwest where Canadians have been placed into expedited removal have involved Canadians seeking entry to the U.S. to attend meetings, visit vacation homes or engage in other travel into the United States," the release states.
For more information, visit www.bcchamber.org.
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