Lawmakers from the northern United States are cheering reports that Canada is poised to abandon COVID-19 vaccination rules for foreign visitors, and want President Joe Biden’s administration to follow suit.
Montana Sen. Jon Tester, a Democrat, wrote to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas this week to urge him to lift the vaccine requirement for truck drivers and other travellers entering the U.S.
“Recent reports indicate that the Canadian government is planning to terminate its vaccination requirements for Americans and other non-citizens entering the country in the coming days,” Tester wrote.
“It is past time for America to do the same.”
Read more: Canada to drop COVID-19 vaccine mandate at border, make ArriveCAN optional: source
Vaccine mandates at the border are making international trade “harder and more expensive,” particularly in states like Montana that enjoy a special trading relationship with their northern neighbours, he continued.
“Fertilizer, hay and other agricultural products from Canada are critical for farmers and ranchers in Montana and across America,” Tester wrote.
A co-ordinated approach to reciprocal measures, he said, would “prevent unnecessary confusion, increase trade and boost economies on both sides of the northern border.”
New York congressman Rep. Brian Higgins, co-chair of the multipartisan, bilateral Canada-U.S. Inter-Parliamentary Group, said the question of vaccination rules at the border was a hot topic during recent meetings in D.C.
Higgins said it would defy logic for the U.S. to maintain its vaccine mandate for foreign travellers in light of Biden’s own claim in a recent “60 Minutes” interview that “the pandemic is over.”
“I don’t know if I agree with that entirely,” he