March 21, 2020

Hassan Joins Shaheen, Bipartisan Group of Northern Border Senators in Call to President to Address Impact of U.S-Canada Border Closure and Quarantines on Medical & Other Essential Supply Chains

Hassan, Shaheen, Colleagues Call for Immediate Guidance Before U.S.-Canada Border Closure

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan joined a bipartisan group of Senators representing states along the United States-Canada border in a letter led by Senator Jeanne Shaheen to President Trump calling on him to consider necessary exemptions to protect public health and safety for businesses and individuals affected by travel restrictions from closing the U.S.-Canadian border, as well as enforcement mandated by quarantines. The bipartisan letter highlights concerns regarding the border closure’s effect on the supply chains of companies that produce or provide essential goods and services. The northern border closure began March 21st. The letter also urges the President to consider the impact on families living in border communities.

 

The Senators wrote, “Many businesses in our states, including hospitals and medical equipment providers, depend upon travel across the northern border for essential supplies and personnel. In attempting to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus, we must ensure that any new travel restrictions do not handicap these industries and their ability to respond to outbreaks quickly and effectively. Federal agencies and the Coronavirus Task Force will need to coordinate closely to ensure the necessary exemptions are made to travel restrictions. We ask that as you make decisions to restrict travel to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, you immediately communicate with the businesses and individuals regarding those restrictions.”

 

The letter continued by urging the President to evaluate the impact of travel restrictions on families and communities along the northern border, some of which share essential services critical to public safety. The Senators implored the President to provide guidance as to how closures and quarantines will affect these communities to ensure all necessary exemptions are made in the interest of public health and safety. The Senators closed their letter by reiterating that restrictions on travel across the border are necessary to stem the spread of the coronavirus, but that targeted exemptions must be considered and clear directives for those exemptions must be immediately provided so businesses and individuals are able to plan and prepare.

 

In addition to Hassan and Shaheen, the letter is signed by Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Steve Daines (R-MT), Susan Collins (D-ME), Jim Risch (R-ID), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Patty Murray (D-WA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Tina Smith (D-MN), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Gary Peters (D-MI), Angus King (I-ME) and Rob Portman (R-OH).

 

Their letter can be read in full here.

 

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