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U.S. revives tariff on Caribbean travelers


Caribbean, Canadian and Mexican travelers will now have to pay a $5.50 tax if they enter the United States by air or sea.
A U.S.-Colombia free trade deal, passed recently in the U.S. Congress, includes a clause that removes an exemption from the tariff for travelers from the Caribbean, Canada and Mexico.

Those countries had been exempt from the fee since 1997 under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), but Canadian officials here said American legislators, needing fresh cash for government coffers, have resurrected it.

International Trade Minister Ed Fast said the Canadian government is disappointed with the new measure. “Raising taxes at the border just raises costs on consumers,” he said in a statement. He said Canadian officials have raised concerns about the removal of this exemption at the “highest level. “We will continue to raise Canada’s concerns with U.S. lawmakers,” Fast said.