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Canada, U.S. closing border to non-essential traffic

Mar 18, 2020 09:30AM ● By Editor
Canada and the United States are finalizing a deal to close their shared border to non-essential travel — an extraordinary measure designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Photo: Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press

By Catharine Tunney and Katie Simpson · CBC News · March 18, 2020

Canada and the United States have reached an unprecedented deal to close the shared border to non-essential travel, as both countries try to restrict the spread of the novel coronavirus, according to U.S. President Donald Trump.

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

As reported by CNN on Tuesday night and confirmed by CBC News, Canada and the U.S. were working to finalize a deal last night and into this morning.

Details of the finalized deal have not been released, but sources with direct knowledge of the negotiations told CBC News on Tuesday the mutual agreement would close the border to tourists and shoppers while still allowing Canadians to return home. It was also expected to allow some commercial traffic to continue to keep critical supply chains intact.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had previously resisted closing the border to Canada's closest ally and most important trading partner — but he did not rule it out.

Sources with direct knowledge of the deal said there is an understanding that these measures will be hurtful to both countries, but there's hope it will be short term.

The main conversations happened between Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland and the U.S. Department of State, as well as the Department of Public Safety and the Department of Homeland Security.

To read the original story and see related reporting, follow this link to the CBC News website.

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