News from Our Neighbors
FORT DRUM LISTED AS
POTENTIAL SITE FOR MISSILE DEFENSE SYSTEM
A New York State site could host an East Coast missile defense system, should the Pentagon determine that such a system is cost effective and necessary for national security. The Pentagon is commencing a mandated environmental study, which will help determine if a missile interceptor on the East Coast is viable to deal with threats from nations like Iran.
A missile defense site could take the form of a $3.6 billion investment with at least 20 anti-missile interceptors, according to the Syracuse Post-Standard. U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has said the study will be part of an initial $1 billion effort to expand the West Coast-based missile-defense systems in Alaska and California to protect against growing North Korean and Iranian capabilities. An advisory report from the National Research Council recommended Fort Drum near Watertown, the former Griffiss Air Force Base in Rome and a site in Caribou, Maine as three potential locations for East Coast Missile Defense sites. The DoD has not yet officially selected their top sites.
BORDER FEE AMENDMENT
The proposal to study a border fee was included in the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) FY2014 budget request. Congressman Owens joined with Rep. Peter Welch of Vermont and other Members of the House in a letter to DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano opposing the study and any new fees.
According to the Department’s budget submission, the study would assess “the feasibility and cost relating to establishing and collecting a land border crossing fee.” The proposed fee would apply to both the northern and southwest borders of the United States. DHS requires completion of the study within 9 months of enactment, however Congressman Owens vowed to prevent the measure from coming to light.
Guy Lauzon, Member of Parliament Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry, also announced his opposition in a release saying:
Given the fragile state of the global economy, trading nations like Canada should be doing all we can to increase legitimate cross-border and international commerce.
It is in that spirit that I strongly oppose a border fee proposed by our closest trading partner and neighbour. I believe such a fee would be very ill-advised as it would hurt the $1.9-billion in trade that flows between our two countries every single day, including the significant trade and shipment of goods at the Cornwall-Massena Crossing.
I am sure all MPs in the opposition parties also oppose this action. All 165 Conservative Members of Parliament are strongly opposed to this proposal and we are sending a strong message to President Obama that this is a bad idea.