s representative haley stevens, on the push to reopen the border with canada, congresswoman stevens. Thank you for joining me tonight, great to be with you. Thank you for having me you’re working with your colleague, debbie dingle, on this effort. You’Ve written president biden: what are you asking of the president? Well, look. The president has the ability, through diplomatic authority, to reach out to his counterpart in canada, mr justin, trudeau and we’ve, asked the president to take into consideration a science based approach for our vaccinated americans, who want to cross the border right now, that’s still a little unclear. We love our friends over in canada. We we miss going there the way we we used to and and certainly just want, a little bit of clarity as we’re, getting close to the next deadline. Later this month on whether or not the restrictions will be adjusted and the pandemic congresswoman has separated families on both sides of the border. We’Ve done some of those stories and they’re heartbreaking, yeah it’s, brutal it’s, just been absolutely brutal. These are some of the most painful conversations i i have with constituents, particularly when it involves a loved one or an ailing family member, but there’s. Also, things like people at cottages up in canada, cabins that they haven’t been able to business visit. Business has been uh impacted, even certain people in the medical profession who aren’t necessarily qualified as uh essential haven’t, been able to travel back and forth, and you know we’re just hoping now that we’re reaching higher levels of vaccination and obviously we’re still pushing to get vaccinated.
The vice president was just in town in detroit yesterday doing just that. We want to continue to up our vaccination rates uh, not that it’s a competition, but we we are doing a little better than our friends over uh on the other side of the northern border. Over here, but what we we want, the president to talk to his counterpart and push for this science based approach, so that we can return to a little bit of the way things were particularly for our vaccinated individuals. You had mentioned business canada. Of course, our largest trading partner and business has certainly been impacted, with the restrictions on non essential travel as well. Absolutely i mean anything even from the travel and tourism to our small businesses, who are just relying on uh, the that export uh from someone coming and spending dollars, uh we’re hearing from truck drivers and obviously some of the other considerations. If you, if you think about it, it’s really quite ironic, because, right before the pandemic hit our shores, what did we do? We passed the north american trade agreement: revitalization, 2.0, nafta. 2.0, the usmca uh. You know rehabbing of nafta improving by american content, uh strengthening our relationships with our uh trading counterparts on in this continent, so we can compete internationally and yet a couple months into it. Just as it’s getting implemented, the border shuts down and it’s been the longest shutdown in history of our northern border, and we want to make sure that commerce can thrive.
Michigan is an export destination. We all know what we do here. We make and manufacture the best products that go all over the world, but we are certainly strengthened as a trading corridor that can complete compete in global markets and, finally, on another topic, as we mentioned in this newscast governor whitmer, sending the president a letter asking for A major declaration of disaster here in the state of michigan as a result of the flooding. Certainly many of your constituents have been impacted by this as well. Can the michigan congressional delegation support the governor? You know in washington to try to make sure this support comes back to us here in southeast michigan. Well, you bet that is a big part of our charge and it is a coordinated effort throughout southeastern michigan. In addition to the flood flooding the extreme flooding that we experienced at the end of june, it just hasn’t stopped. We had other communities with long standing power outages, a suspected supercell hitting the city of farmington and farmington hills recently working around the clock with our local officials. I really want to applaud the governor for putting forward that emergency declaration, because we do need to enable people to recoup those costs that insurance isn’t, covering from cars, to basements, to to other just resources that they’ve been uh stripped of in. In addition to individual families. You know some again some of our smallest businesses, our sole proprietors, so we need to dial it back up that’s why we do have this process to get those federal emergency relief dollars to michigan and we’re, pushing every step of the way to get that back in To our state we’ll leave it there congresswoman haley stevens.
We appreciate your time tonight and your work on these issues.