Rejecting cross-border shoppers, some U.S. companies choose to export to Canada instead

Washington — Previously, Katie McCarron could rely on Canada’s best customers to visit her store in Portland, Oregon, to buy her favorite high-quality, human pet food. I did.

COVID-19 had other plans. But soon, so did Portland Pet Food Co.

“Some of them are just shopping in Portland. I heard they were here or wrote to us and said,” Order food online with the border closed. How can I do this? “BC-born McCarron said in a recent interview.

However, in the United States, all international shipments of pet food products require a special health certificate, making it impossible for small retailers like Portland Pet Food to offer online sales abroad.

“We can’t ship to Canada. It’s too expensive and we have to issue these certificates every time we ship. So I just had to pursue getting into distribution.”

Today, Portland Pet Food is available in over 500 specialty retailers in Canada, primarily thanks to a deal with the Canadian chain Pet Valu. That’s about 25% of the company’s global retail footprint.

McCarron apparently already had a spread in her mind before the pandemic broke out. Portland’s products are already on sale in Japan, and she recently signed a sales contract in China. Next are South Korea and Taiwan.

However, the ongoing ban on non-essential land travel from Canada to the United States has been tentatively extended for 19 months until October 21, gaining shelf space in parts of the world that no longer cross borders. It reminded me of the importance of doing. It’s as easy as it used to be.

In stark contrast, President Joe Biden’s administration last week announced a major revision of the rules governing international travel and COVID-19, while at the same time extending a travel ban on the Canadian-US border.

McCarron is at a loss to explain why the United States continues to deny Canadians the ability to drive across borders for vacations, day trips, or shopping excursions.

“I’m just as confused about the border as everyone else,” she said.

The American Travel Association states that due to the continued closure of the Mexican-Canada border, US companies are spending an estimated $ 1.5 billion a month on “travel exports.” This is defined as spending by foreign residents during their visit to the United States.

Canada, on the other hand, remains the largest single US export market, accounting for nearly 18 percent of all US products shipped from the country last year. The two countries trade $ 1.7 billion worth of goods and services daily, for a total of $ 614.9 billion in 2020.

“My members are deeply dissatisfied with this, especially when it comes to cross-border trade and relations,” Michigan Senator Gary Peters said at a National Security hearing with the Department of Homeland Security last week. I have. ” Alejandro Mallorcus.

“We are very careful about the financial and financial implications, as well as the implications for families who haven’t seen each other for quite some time,” Mallorcus replied.

He said the progression of the COVID-19 delta mutant was “not yet needed” in the United States, and that there were communities near the US-Mexico border suffering as a result of the closure.

“We are looking at the situation not only at the northern border, but also at the port of entry on the southern border,” Mallorcus said.

“We have heard similar concerns with the southern border communities regarding the impact of restrictions, economic and family implications. We are considering what we can do in operation and are very much It works in a sequential and controlled way. “

Triburns, executive vice president of public relations and policy at the American Travel Association, said it was jarring to think of discrepancies when crossing the Canadian-US border by land.

“It’s very difficult for Canada to be in a completely reopened situation. From a US perspective, you can only enter by plane,” says Burns.

“It’s clearly significantly negative for the US economy, and that’s what we’ve been saying clearly.”

White House spokesman Jen Psaki did not explain why the borders remained closed on Thursday while the Biden administration announced new immunization requirements for foreign visitors arriving by plane.

“There is no up-to-date information on land restrictions, where they are. Other than that (and) we continue to consider additional steps,” she said.

James McCurtain