Customs Plaza for New International Trade Crossing Not Funded in Obama’s FY15 Budget

A proposed new crossborder link between Canada and the United States, the New International Trade Crossing (NITC), failed to get mention in Obama’s FY15 budget.

Specifically, the crossing, which would connect Windsor and Detroit,failed to snag funding for a customs plaza–the “final hurdle” to starting construction.  (Though, there might be other hurdles.)

Last week, a group of 40 pro-NITC stakeholders wrote President Obama, urging the President to make U.S. Customs and Border Control funds available for the project.  The letter also points out how Canada’s impressive NITC funding commitment:

Canada has agreed to pay for almost all the $2 billion project; however the United States’ has not yet committed to its relatively modest share – $250 million for the Federal Plaza.

While the White House’s budget is very likely to be changed–and that assumes a normal appropriations process–the press over the NITC customs plaza may be more about positioning.  Given America’s harsh budget politics, the NITC customs plaza investment seems like a political no-brainer: $250 million U.S. funds snags a vital economic link and $2 billion in Canadian funding. 

But given the America’s harsh fiscal politics, it will take determined advocacy of crossborder stakeholders to ensure the NITC’s construction goes as planned–and Canadians and Americans alike reap the economic benefits. 

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