Cramer Tours Pembina Border Crossing, Discusses Trade with Canadian Leaders
PEMBINA, ND – Congressman Kevin Cramer toured the Pembina border crossing this afternoon and met with U.S. and Canadian officials on security threats and cross border traffic efficiency.
With 1.1 million vehicles crossing yearly, the Pembina crossing is the fifth most heavily traveled border by trade volume. “So much time is spent discussing security threats at our southern border, but many people forget about the hard work done here to protect our northern border,” said Cramer. “Ensuring seamless cross border flows is crucial to maintaining the $19.5 billion traded through this crossing every year.”
During the tour, Cramer learned about the jobs and operations of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers. He also discussed security measures to prevent drugs and human trafficking from entering the U.S. “Having the great relationship that we do with our Canadian friends is a major advantage,” said Cramer. “But, it doesn’t mean we can get weak on border security. We need to make sure our police force has the right tools necessary to get the job done.”
According to a 2017 Threat Assessment Report by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the most common threat to U.S. public safety along the northern border continues to be the bi-directional flow of illicit drugs. Since 2012, less than 800 individuals have been apprehended per year, with the largest portion of these individuals being Canadian. In contrast, the apprehensions at our southern border number in the hundreds of thousands.
Cramer also met with Canadian business and political leaders at the Emerson Duty Free shop where they discussed economic impacts of the port of entry for both U.S. and Canada. “It was a very interesting discussion talking about how we can improve the flow of traffic across our border,” said Cramer. “With roughly 2.5 million people crossing here annually, understanding the components behind international commerce really is key since both Manitoba and North Dakota benefit tremendously from tourism and trade that crosses the border at Pembina and Emerson.”
As a Co-Chair of the House Northern Border Caucus and a member of the House Interparliamentary Group, Cramer plays a leading role in international relations with Canada. In addition to near-monthly meetings with Canadian officials in Washington, Cramer convened a meeting in Grand Forks earlier this year with members of the Canadian Parliament to discuss harmonizing Canadian immigration policies with ours, and the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). On Monday, Cramer will also address the Northern Tribal Border Summit in Shakopee, Minnesota to discuss ways to improve relations with the Canadian government.