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Laura Dawson comments on new border tax for Canadians

Canada Institute public policy scholar Laura Dawson speaks to Bloomberg Businessweek about the new tax on Canadians traveling to the United States by air and sea.

Canadians are angered that the U.S. would use the Colombia free-trade agreement to rescind benefits, Laura Dawson, a public- policy scholar at the Canada Institute of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, said in an interview.

“When it was connected directly to the Colombian FTA, it irks a bit,” Dawson said in an interview. “It’s not going to put any damper on Canadian travel; $5.50 is not that big a deal, it’s a cup of coffee on the way in to the airport. The optics of it aren’t very good.”

Relations between the U.S. and Canada are improving, Dawson said. Since taking office in 2006, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Bush and Obama administrations ironed out differences over lumber duties, won an exemption for Canada from “Buy American” provisions and agreed to negotiate measures to ease congestion at border crossings.

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The mission of the Wilson Center's Canada Institute is to raise the level of knowledge of Canada in the United States, particularly within the Washington, DC policy community.  Research projects, initiatives, podcasts, and publications cover contemporary Canada, US-Canadian relations, North American political economy, and Canada's global role as it intersects with US national interests.  Read more