New Passport Rules Burden Businesses on US Borders

Fewer traveling into US
By Sarah Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 14, 2009 5:28 PM CDT
US Customs and Border Patrol officer Shawn Gehring speaks with Robert Moulson and Anjal Abad, both from Toronto, at the Peace Bridge border crossing in Buffalo, N.Y., on June 1, 2009.    (AP Photo/David Duprey)
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(Newser) – Businesses on the US side of the Canadian border say they're struggling now that travelers must show a passport to get into the country. In June, when the new law went into effect, the 11 busiest border bridges saw 23% less traffic than last year, the Wall Street Journal reports. The change "killed the impulsive buyer," says a rep for a New York theme park. "Canadians can't be as spontaneous anymore."

The same rules apply to travelers entering the US from Mexico, and some say that doesn't make sense. "The policy in place now was created with Mexico in mind, not Canada," said an expert on US-Canada relations. But the director of the new policy initiative disagrees: "Was it really fair to have one set of rules for Mexico and another for Canada?"