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The U.S. government stands poised for its first partial shutdown in 17 years at midnight tonight, after a weekend with no signs of negotiations or compromise from the Congress or the White House.

The budget cuts scheduled for tomorrow, October 1, 2013, could mean significant cuts across all agencies in the U.S., including personnel at the Canada-U.S. border.

Businesses on both sides of the border would suffer from understaffing not to mention the potential effects on our security. Increased wait times would cost industry billions of dollars, individual travelers would also face major delays trying to cross the border.

“So much of our trade relies on the safe and efficient movement of people and goods across America’s border,” said Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. “A significant decrease in U.S. border staff would have a serious impact on the already-fragile economic growth in both of our countries. Neither Canada nor the U.S. can afford to let it happen”, he concluded.

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