Rep. Louise M. Slaughter (D-NY), Chairwoman of the House Rules Committee, along with Representatives John M. McHugh (R-NY), Collin Peterson (D-MN), and Donald Manzullo (R-IL), introduced a bill to…
Rep. Louise M. Slaughter (D-NY), Chairwoman of the House Rules Committee, along with Representatives John M. McHugh (R-NY), Collin Peterson (D-MN), and Donald Manzullo (R-IL), introduced a bill to fix the travel restrictions included in the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) that have the potential to harm businesses and communities along the Canadian border.
The legislation, known as the Protecting American Commerce and Travel Act, or PACT Act, has the support of the Travel Industry Association, US Chamber of Commerce and Travel Business Roundtable.
This bipartisan bill is a common-sense solution to a critical problem our northern border communities are facing, said Rep. Slaughter. We won`t sit idly by while the local economies of Western New York and beyond are severely damaged by ill-conceived proposals like WHTI. The current WHTI proposal will devastate tourism and trade with Canada and we simply cannot afford to let that happen. I feel strongly that my bill is the model that DHS and State should follow, and I am happy to see wide support for this commonsensical legislation.
Last year, Congress sent the message that implementation of WHTI should be delayed to ensure that cross-border travel and trade would not suffer due to the new regulations, Rep. McHugh said. This is far too important an issue along the 500 miles of land and water border in my upstate New York Congressional District. The PACT Act is critical legislation that would ensure DHS and State explore options for affordable alternatives to a passport, as well as make the most of programs like NEXUS and FAST that have already proven to be efficient and secure means of cross-border travel.
In my district, commerce doesn`t stop at the border. For the sake of businesses and their employees who rely on ease of access, this legislation is critical, Rep. Peterson said. The PACT Act is a responsible and safe way for Homeland Security to protect our border without harming commerce and tourism.
There is a crisis looming at our Northern Border. The WHTI, if handled incorrectly, will drive a wedge between the United States and our largest trading partner and closest ally, said Congressman Manzullo. The PACT Act assures that the Departments of Homeland Security and State promulgate a regulation that will provide greater protection to our homeland while still facilitating legitimate travel and commerce.
Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.