Border Fee For Canadians Banned By U.S. Senators

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In this June 1, 2009 file photo, a driver hands his passport to a border agent at the U.S. border crossing in Highgate Springs, Vt. The U.S. won't be introducing border crossing fees at land ports of entry. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot) | CP

The U.S. won't be introducing border crossing fees at land ports of entry.

The Department of Homeland Security had wanted U.S. Congress to authorize the study of a fee that could be collected from everyone entering the U.S. at land crossings bordering Canada and Mexico.

But the Senate's judiciary committee on Thursday voted to amend the Immigration Reform Bill to ban the fee all together.

Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy, who chairs the committee, said a fee would stop Canadians from visiting the U.S. and could threaten trade and the economy.

On his website, Leahy has pointed out "the harm that a border fee on the northern border would cause to Vermont’s economy and to the historic cultural ties that Vermonters have with Quebec."

In response to the proposed fee, Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade said last month that a fee to simply enter the U.S. would be bad for business between the two countries.

Department spokeswoman Emma Welford told CBC News in an email that Canadians spend more than $21 billion annually in the U.S.

In Windsor, Ont., Chrysler alone, for example, makes more than 1,600 customs entries in Windsor-Detroit every day.

Earlier on HuffPost:

Cross-Border Shopping: What You Need To Know
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