Canadian truckers say U.S. fee increase would harm cross-border trade

The Peace Bridge linking Fort Erie, Ont., to Buffalo, N.Y., is one of the busiest border crossings...

The Peace Bridge linking Fort Erie, Ont., to Buffalo, N.Y., is one of the busiest border crossings in North America. Mike DiBattista/QMI Agency

Jessica Hume, National Bureau

, Last Updated: 4:22 PM ET

OTTAWA — The U.S. wants to increase a fee on cross-border truckers — a move the Canadian trucking industry says could do serious damage to the Canada/U.S. trade relationship.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says it wants to increase the fee Canadian truckers must pay because it has to recoup the cost of fighting pests brought into the country on Canadian trucks carrying agricultural goods.

David Bradley, president of the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA), said the fact the fee is being considered for all trucks — even those carrying auto parts or other non-agricultural goods — is proof it isn't really about fighting pests.

"We are opposed to the increase, but we're also opposed to the fee itself," Bradley told QMI Agency.

The CTA has sought a legal opinion on whether the fee increase is a violation of the North American Free Trade Agreement and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.

"This is effectively a tax on trade," Bradley said.

 

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