Tonawanda News

Local News

April 26, 2013

Schumer says plan to charge Canadian visitors 'dead on arrival'

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Tonawanda News — In Niagara County, Schumer’s office said 19.1 percent of all employment is sustained by tourists. In Niagara County alone, his office said tourism is a $480 million industry, noting that an estimated 8 million visitors come to Niagara Falls State Park alone. 

Section 544 of the the proposed 2014 budget directs the Commissioner of the United States Customs and Border Protection to conduct a study assessing the feasibility and cost relating to establishing and collecting a land border crossing fee for both land border pedestrians and passenger vehicles along the northern and southwest borders of the United States. 

Overall, he said the proposed the fees can create a perception that trips to the United States are becoming more expensive, resulting in a decrease in tourism. Schumer also hopes to avoid a scenario in which the Canadians retaliate against U.S. policy by implementing their own fees, which would keep New Yorkers from visiting their favorite spots in Canada.

“First and foremost, it is the federal government’s job to keep Americans safe and ensure that visitors from Canada are law abiding citizens,” he said. “However, a several dollar fee is not enough to stop wrongdoers from entering our country, it is only enough to prevent someone from buying a ticket to the Buffalo Bills game, or from taking a trip to our Rochester Finger Lakes wineries, or shopping at Watertown’s Salmon Run Mall. I am sending a loud and clear message that any border fee is a non-starter in the Senate.”

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