The Canadian Trucking Alliance has voiced concerns over the cross-border trucking fees collected by the U.S. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and is worried they may soon increase.
Truckers pay a fee of $5.25 to the U.S. agency every time they cross the border, according to the alliance, and a recent study that shows the fees aren't generating enough revenue could lead to a larger fee. The fees are assessed whether or not the carrier is carrying agricultural products.
The U.S. Government Accountability Office found that the $861 million annual cost of the inspections vastly outpaced the $534 million proceeds.
“The APHIS fees are particularly galling to truckers,” the alliance's David Bradley said in a statement. “Motor carriers don’t even own the goods that APHIS is targeting for inspection, yet they are the ones who receive the bill.”
Bradley pointed out fees like these are not the way to increase trade between the nations.
“One can always argue that carriers can simply pass on these costs to their customers, and some no doubt are fairly successful at doing so,” he said. “But one can’t help but be struck by the fact that at the same time the governments of Canada and the U.S. are trying to find ways to make the border more efficient and less costly through the 'Beyond the Border' initiative, individual agencies are contemplating ways to drive the costs of trade up again.” - Jon Ross