WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Congresswoman Michelle Fischbach (MN-7) sent a letter to President Joseph R. Biden urging his Administration to prioritize a bilateral plan to re-open the border between the United States and Canada, which has remained closed to non-essential travel since March 21, 2020. The letter, which was sent in advance of Tuesday’s meeting between President Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, was also signed by Congressman Pete Stauber (MN-8) and Congressman Tom Emmer (MN-6).
“We write to express our serious concerns over the continued closure of America’s northern border. As you may know, Minnesotans along our Canadian border rely heavily on tourism and cross-border travel to support their businesses. They have been hit especially hard by the pandemic-related travel restrictions, devastating local economies,” the letter reads.
“The Northwest Angle (‘the Angle’) is an area of Northern Minnesota that is mainly accessible by land through Canada. As a result of border closures stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses there have been cut off from tourists critical to the economic livelihood of the community. To mitigate the effects of this border closure, residents of the Angle built a 22-mile ice road crossing over Lake of the Woods for tourists to use. However, this road will soon be unusable as the ice melts, yielding the community isolated from its livelihood once again.
“With widespread COVID-19 treatment options and vaccine deployment well underway, we believe it is time to safely reopen the route to the Angle, a 40-mile road through a remote and low-populated area, to provide a lifeline to its struggling businesses. There are many potential solutions, namely a trade corridor that would allow all economic activity to resume on the Angle safely and with accountability. As we approach a full year with a closed northern border, it is critical to this remote community that a solution is found before access points are once again closed off for tourists.”
Click here to download the full letter.
Michelle Fischbach is a wife, mom, grandma, attorney, and the U.S. Representative for Minnesota’s Seventh Congressional District. Get updates from Rep. Fischbach’s congressional office on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.