Many view Rep. Stefanik as a fast rising star in the Republican Party, appeared to criticize the executive order suspending several popular working visas until the end of 2020. Rep. Stefanik cited concerns that it would affect her constituents in upstate New York that
Depend heavily upon cross-border trade, between Canada and the US.
Rep. Stefanik told The New York Post “I’ve worked out the uniquely northern border challenges throughout this crisis starting with making sure that our essential health care workers who were Canadians that work in New York hospitals were able to cross the border and continue that work.” Rep. Stefanik went on to say that she didn’t support the Administrations’ measures adding “I’m concerned about this decision. This is an area where I differ from the administration,” she said.
Rep. Stefanik is not alone in her view. Interestingly, many leading companies and industry leaders have voiced their concern’s with the President’s executive order and how it will hurt the US economy. Tech firms, including Apple, Microsoft and Amazon have all said the decision would stop them from recruiting talent needed to build critical infrastructure and have even called the move “short-sighted.”
This news coming today that Canada has been exempted from the new US Work Visa restrictions will be welcomed by the Prime Minister Trudeau and his government, although likely met with some skepticism and concern. Canada may very well view this as yet another slight by the Trump administration pointing to the fact that Canada wasn’t exempted when these measures were first announced, suggesting it was never President Trump’s intention to do so. Rather, it would appear that this took a significant lobbying effort from a staunch Trump Ally to finally secure an exemption for Canada. Normally, this could be dismissed as political fodder and gamesmanship by President Trump. However, taken in the backdrop of recent revelations by former Trump National Security Advisor John Bolton, if taken at face value it would appear there is no love lost for Prime Minister Trudeau coming out of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Nonetheless, the Canada/US relationship endures yet another challenge as both countries now prepare to usher in the era of the NAFTA 2.0, also known as the USMCA, which is set to come into force on July 1, 2020. Not exempting Canada from these new work visa restrictions would have been a significant blow to our unprecedented economic integration that has facilitated trade between our two countries and tremendous economic growth and opportunities on both sides of border. Now, at least for the moment, the Trudeau government will not face the tremendous scrutiny from within Canada to announce a measured response had Canadians been included in Trump’s temporary Immigration ban.