Tighter border hurts economy, officials say


Betsy Z. Russell
The Spokesman-Review
July 19, 2009

[efoods]BOISE – Officials and experts from the United States and Canada say a U.S. border policy driven by concerns about terrorism and problems at the Mexico border is hurting Pacific Northwest communities.

“We’ve got a much more open border there, and we’ve got a real intense personal and commercial relationship,” said Idaho Rep. George Eskridge, R-Dover, whose district borders Canada in Boundary County. “We’re trying to decide what to do with the Canadian border based on what we do with the Mexican border. I think that’s wrong, because we’ve got different problems.”

About 500 officials, experts and business people from the U.S. and Canada gathered for the annual meeting of the Pacific NorthWest Economic Region to discuss cross-border economic issues, including energy, agriculture and economic development. There was lots of talk about the impact of border policy changes in the U.S. since the 2001 terrorist attacks.

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