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Trump Says US, Canada to Close Border to 'Non-Essential Traffic' Amid Coronavirus

Thursday, March 19, 2020

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President Trump said the U.S. and Canada had agreed to close their border to non-essential travel as the two countries seek to blunt the spread of the coronavirus.

"We will be, by mutual consent, temporarily closing our Northern Border with Canada to non-essential traffic. Trade will not be affected. Details to follow!" Trump tweeted.

Specifics of the closure were not immediately available, but the new restrictions are likely to affect non-citizens traveling between the two countries. Trump and the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau discussed the situation, officials said.

"You can only be vigilant and very professional, but it’s not pertaining at this moment to trade between the two countries," Trump told reporters at a news briefing.

The Department of Homeland Security is expected to implement the changes.

Trump hinted that a potential border closure with Canada and Mexico was being discussed at the White House as officials seek to further limit the transmission of the coronavirus.

Trump's tweet made clear that trade between the two nations will not be impacted. The president last week caused significant confusion when he initially said that trade with Europe would be halted due to travel restrictions, forcing him to issue a correcting tweet.

The U.S. has restricted travel from large swaths of the world in an effort to curb the number of non-citizens entering the country who may be carrying COVID-19. Trump previously issued orders to stop flights into the country from China, South Korea, and all of Europe.

The total number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus worldwide surpassed 200,000 on Wednesday, according to data tracked by Johns Hopkins University. There are more than 6,500 cases in the U.S., and more than 100 Americans have died from the virus.

Canada has roughly 600 confirmed cases, according to Johns Hopkins, and fewer than 10 deaths as of Wednesday morning.

Trudeau has been quarantined in his home in recent days after his wife tested positive for the virus.

Source: The Hill

Category: Economic News, International Trade

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