Plattsburgh, NY – Today, Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY-21) hosted a roundtable in Plattsburgh at the North Country Chamber of Commerce with many area leaders to discuss progress made on issues that are important to our Northern border, including commerce, tourism and funding for the Department of Homeland Security.
“In the North Country, we know that Canada is more than just a bordering nation; they are our neighbors and our friends,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “Today’s roundtable was a critical opportunity to speak with community leaders on issues ranging from commerce to tourism to my leadership on the landmark pre-clearance legislation that would facilitate travel and tourism between the U.S. and Canada, as well as strengthen our national security. Thank you to Garry Douglas and the North Country Chamber, as well as everyone who attended.”
"Nothing is more important to the North Country economy than our relationship with Canada and fluidity at our northern border," states Garry Douglas, President of the North Country Chamber of Commerce. "That's why we look to the North Country's Member of Congress to play a leadership role in Washington in all cross border matters, and we are pleased that Congresswoman Stefanik is doing just that, as Bill Owens and John McHugh did before her. Some very important advances in U.S.-Canadian relations are currently in play, including needed Congressional approval of the Pre-Clearance Agreement which will enhance legitimate cross border movement, and we are pleased the Congresswoman is providing this opportunity to update us and to continue to identify changing needs at the border.”
Congresswoman Stefanik has a deep understanding of the importance of Canada to our district. Canada is more than just a bordering nation; they are our neighbors and our friends. Plattsburgh has even branded itself as Montreal's “U.S. Suburb,” hosting more than 100 U.S. subsidiaries of Canadian companies, with 15 percent of its area workforce working for a Canadian or border-related employer.
This is why Congresswoman Stefanik joined the Northern Border Caucus shortly after arriving in Congress, and why she crossed party lines early in 2015 to vote to keep the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) funded. As she said at the time, “DHS funding is critical to our district because of the broad economic importance of our Canadian border, and the need to make sure that the thousands of North Country DHS employees are paid on time for their hard work.”
Congresswoman Stefanik followed this work up in April by visiting with U.S. Customs and Border Protection at the Port of Champlain to learn about their best practices and interagency information sharing.
In August of last year, Congresswoman Stefanik led a North Country delegation visit to Montreal to promote commerce, transportation and tourism for the area.
When Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson and Canadian Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Steven Blaney announced a landmark U.S./Canadian Pre-Clearance agreement, Congresswoman Stefanik pledged to work “with my colleagues in Congress to pass the legislation necessary to implement this plan.”
She followed up on this commitment by cointroducing the Promoting Travel, Commerce, and National Security Act of 2016 – bipartisan legislation to expand preclearance operations in Canada, which will facilitate travel and tourism and strengthen our national security. In addition, she took to the House floor to urge her colleagues to support this critical legislation and is working in Congress to see it passed.