Bipartisan congressional working group ‘committed to addressing issues critical to US-Canada relationship’
Congressmembers Brian Higgins (D-NY-26) and Elise Stefanik (R-NY-21) will co-chair the Northern Border Caucus for the 116th Congress. The working group is comprised of a bipartisan assembly of members of the House of Representatives committed to addressing the policies integral to the relationship between the U.S. and Canada.
Higgins said, “Canada and the United States are strong allies with interconnected economies. The Northern Border Caucus provides a forum for dialog that explores further opportunities to strengthen binational coordination and advance shared interests.”
Stefanik added, “Canada continues to be our strongest economic ally, and we must actively work to maintain our partnership with them so that it is productive and beneficial for both countries. My district borders Canada, and I’m excited to take on the responsibility of co-chairing this important caucus, which is a hallmark of the institution of the House of Representatives.
The Northern Border Caucus is Congress’s oldest and largest congressional member organization dealing with the U.S.-Canada relationship. Founded in 1994, this bipartisan group of members has acted to highlight policy concerns and issues affecting the economic, cultural and political partnership between the U.S. and Canada.
Higgins currently serves as a member of the House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee, including its subcommittees on trade, health and Social Security as well as the House Budget Committee. He is a member of the Great Lakes Task Force and was recently nominated to head-up the Canada-U.S. Inter-Parliamentary Group. He previously served as a member of the House Foreign Affairs and Homeland Security Committees. Higgins is a vocal advocate for improvements to cross-border infrastructure to better facilitate mutual trade, commerce and tourism. He participated in round six of discussions on the new North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in Montreal last year and attended the signing of the Beyond the Border preclearance agreement in 2015.
Higgins’ Western New York district, which encompasses the cities of Buffalo and Niagara Falls, borders Southern Ontario and includes three automobile and two rail crossings between the U.S. and Canada.
Additional members of the bipartisan caucus currently include Congressmembers: Kelly Armstrong (R-ND), Chris Collins (R-NY-27), Suzan DelBene (D-WA-1), Ted Deutch (D-FL-22), Debbie Dingell (D-MI-12), Jeff Duncan (R-SC-3), Tom Emmer (R-MN-6), Bill Huizenga (R-MI-2), Dan Kildee (D-MI-5), Derek Kilmer (D-WA-6), Annie Kuster (D-NH-2), Brenda Lawrence (D-MI-14), John Moolenaar (R-MI-4), Joe Morelle (D-NY-25), Chris Pappas (D-NH-1), Paul Mitchell (R-MI-10), Collin Peterson (D-MN-7), Tom Rice (R-SC-7), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA-05), Tim Ryan (D-OH-13), Adam Smith (D-WA-9), Paul Tonko (D-NY-20), Peter Welch (D-VT) and Joe Wilson (R-SC-2).
Canada and the U.S. are one of the world’s most robust trading partners, with nearly $2 billion in trade flowing across the border every day, supporting millions of jobs in each country.
In addition to trade, the Norther Border Caucus will explore policies on a number of issues ranging from transportation, energy and the environment, to immigration and homeland security.