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Joint Statement from Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce (WERCC), Detroit Regional Chamber (DRC), and Canada-U.S. Business Association (CUSBA)

DETROIT (July 26, 2021) – Detroit Regional Chamber President and Chief Executive Officer Sandy K. Baruah joined Rakesh Naidu, president and chief executive officer of the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce, and Mark High president of the Canada-United States Business Association, in a joint statement urging the United States government to reopen the border to Canadian residents safely.

It has been a challenging 16 months since the U.S.-Canada border was closed to non-essential travel, creating uncertainty and frustration on both sides. Travel restrictions imposed to contain the spread of the virus are estimated to have cost Canada’s gross domestic product (GDP) $27.9 billion to $37.1 billion and the loss of 400,000 to 500,000 jobs in 2020¹. The U.S. Travel Association estimates that each month the border is closed costs the U.S. economy $1.5 billion in potential travel exports. While more work on vaccination rates is needed and diligence is still necessary, our organizations representing business interests on both sides of the U.S.-Canada border are united in calling for business, social, and family-related travel to resume between our nations with appropriate safeguards in place.

The announcement earlier this week that the Canadian border would re-open for fully vaccinated American citizens and permanent residents starting on August 9 is welcomed by businesses and individuals on both sides of the border. Prior to the pandemic and border closure, annual U.S. travel spending by Canadians averaged over $16 billion². In 2019, Canadian residents made more than 20 million trips to the U.S., but Statistics Canada reports that in 2020 travel plummeted to 4.2 million trips³. Allowing for safe travel across the U.S.-Canada border will accelerate the economic recovery in both nations.

The Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Detroit Regional Chamber, and the Canada-US Business Association call on the United States government to reciprocate the actions of the Canadian government and ease border restrictions. Our respective nations’ social and business fabric are inextricably intertwined – especially in the automotive, mobility, technology and health care sectors. Safely easing border restrictions will aid North American competitiveness in the global marketplace as well as the economic well-being of individuals and businesses in both Canada and the United States.

Rakesh Naidu
President and Chief Executive Officer, Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce
Sandy K. Baruah
President and Chief Executive Officer, Detroit Regional Chamber
Mark High
President, Canada-United States Business Association
1. Statistics Canada. The Economic Impact of Travel restrictions on the Canadian Economy due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Liu, 2020
2. US Travel Association, National Association of realtors and US Homeland Security, 2021
3. Statistics Canada. Table 24-10-0045-01 Travel by Canadian residents in Canada and abroad by trip purpose (x 1,000)


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