Canadian, Mexican, and certain Caribbean travelers entering the United States by sea or air must now pay a $5.50 tax after the recently ratified Colombia-US free trade agreement removed exemption from the tariff.
Under the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Canadians and Mexicans had been exempt from paying the travel charge since 1997 but a clause in the US-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement removed this exemption.
This allows the U.S. government to recoup funds lost due the elimination on tariffs on Colombian imports entering the U.S. It is said that the reinstatement of the travel tariff could generate $500 million in five years.
Canada’s International Trade Minister Ed Fast said he will raise the issue with U.S. legislators. Democrat Congressman Bill Owens is seeking to have the exemption reinstated next week.