Cross Border Commerce
The successful growth of Western New York’s economy heavily depends on our ability to maintain and grow our relationship with Southern Ontario. Each year, the Peace Bridge alone facilitates the transport of over $30 billion in commerce, spurring $227.4 billion in economic activity, and supporting one million jobs. Brian has been an advocate for creating reliable access at the border as a means to foster this economic relationship. As a result of Brian’s advocacy to the Department of Homeland Security, the Peace Bridge has been included in a pre-inspection pilot to inspect trucks coming into the United States with the goal of easing congestion and decreasing wait times at the border. Additionally, Brian successfully urged U.S. Customs & Border Protection to increase staffing at the Peace Bridge and other local border crossings.
More on Cross Border Commerce
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) is encouraged that progress will be made to address staffing issues on the border between the United States and Canada following today’s Northern Border Caucus meeting in Washington, D.C. with Canadian Ambassador David MacNaughton. Prior to the meeting with the entire caucus, the Congressman and the Ambassador met briefly and discussed the specific staffing and the resulting traffic problems at the Niagara River crossings.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the opening of the new ramp carrying traffic from Porter Avenue directly into the Peace Bridge U.S. Plaza. The new ramp allows for the closure of Baird Drive in Front Park to restore the historic park. The project is a key component of the $56.7 million New York Gateway Connections Improvement project in Buffalo and complements the state’s record $27 billion investment in roads and bridges, primarily in Upstate New York. The closure of Baird Drive and opening of the ramp are effective Tuesday, September 6.
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) is advocating for a direct binational pedestrian connection to accommodate Canadian GO Train passengers and better facilitate cross-border tourism. Higgins’ push comes following an announcement on June 28th by Ontario’s Transportation Minister of expanded GO Transit service between Toronto and Niagara Falls, Ontario.
Rep. Brian Higgins heard from advocates and businesses directly and indirectly impacted by travel at a roundtable event today in Buffalo designed to draw attention to the importance of travel to the regional economy.
Travel is one of the largest industries in the United States, employing more than 14 million Americans. In Erie County alone, more than 29,000 people are directly employed by the travel industry.
While awaiting completion of a formal review of the pre-inspection pilot project at the Peace Bridge, Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) says steps can and should be taken immediately to improve efficiencies at the northern border crossing.
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) spoke on the floor of the House of Representatives in support of the cancellation of this week’s vote on the Secure our Borders First Act. The legislation included provisions, which could create long delays at already congested northern border crossings. In last week’s Homeland Security Committee meeting, Higgins offered an amendment to ensure that any additional inspections would be matched with adequate staffing and infrastructure improvemen
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) joined the Committee on Homeland Security to debate the Secure our Borders First Act, partisan legislation that proposes unrealistic requirements regarding border security as an excuse to forgo comprehensive immigration reform.
As the pilot project to pre-inspect commercial vehicles entering the United States on the Canadian side of the Peace Bridge comes to a close, Congressman Brian Higgins is pushing for a swift review followed by further action to expedite measures that allow for the efficient flow of traffic along the northern border.
“This test period was a good first step but further action to expand and improve the movement of people and goods across the border is essential to the growth of the Western New York and U.S. economies,” said Congressman Higgins.
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) successfully passed an amendment to H.R. 3488, a bill that sets forth conditions for the Department of Homeland Security to establish preclearance facilities and operations outside of the country. Higgins’ amendment clarified that the new provisions would apply only at airports and not land ports of entry, such as the Peace Bridge.
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) announced that the northern border between Western New York and Southern Ontario will soon see U.S. Homeland Security staffing increases. U.S. Customs & Border Patrol (CBP) responsible for securing the ports of entry have announced plans to significantly increase personnel at the Port of Buffalo, which includes border crossings in the City of Buffalo, Niagara Falls and Lewiston.