Tax on Canadian travellers to the US

Chris Sands and Colin Roberston on Powerplay with Don Martin February 17, 2010
The U.S. may be setting a $5.50 fee to Canadian visitors. Chris Sands, a senior associate from CSIS says the U.S. is looking for any opportunity to gain funds. Colin Robertson, a former diplomat says this is just a law of ‘unintended consequences.’

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A new tax on air travel?

Excerpted from Ottawa Citizen U.S. ponders $5.50 entry tax for Canadian air, marine travellers

By Ian MacLeod, Ottawa Citizen February 17, 201

The Obama administration wants Canadians to pay to enter the United States to help ease that country’s desperate financial crunch.A proposed “passenger inspection” fee is outlined in the draft 2012 U.S. federal budget that has been sent to Congress. If adopted, the charge is expected to be levied against millions of commercial air and marine travellers from Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean, the only nations now exempt from the fee, and generate $110 million annually. The fee would not apply to automobile traffic.

Colin Robertson, a member of the team that negotiated the Free Trade Agreement with the U.S. and later helped implement the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), believes more U.S. cash grabs are coming.

“They will be looking everywhere to find money, so it wouldn’t surprise me that our exemption is being lifted,” said Robertson, a fellow of the Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute.

“Do I think we can succeed in pushing back? Probably not given the desperate financial situation the States is in. But, obviously, we should make our best efforts.

“This is one where we should make a joint cause with Mexico. The push back (also) has to come through the airline industry and though the travel agencies in the States.”

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