U.S.-Canada border to temporarily close to nonessential travel

Washington/Ottawa | Reuters — The U.S.-Canada border will close to nonessential traffic, U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted on Wednesday, saying details on the move would be announced later but that it would not affect trade between the two countries.

“We will be, by mutual consent, temporarily closing our Northern Border with Canada to non-essential traffic. Trade will not be affected,” Trump wrote.

Under the terms of the agreement, the flow of goods between the two nations — which share one of the world’s largest bilateral trading relationships — would continue.

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Trump later said he expected the border to remain closed for 30 days.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau later told reporters in Ottawa that travelers could no longer cross the border for recreation and tourism.

“Our governments recognize it is critical that we preserve supply chains between both countries,” he said. “These supply chains ensure that food, fuel and life-saving medicines reach people on both sides of the border.”

Ottawa closed the borders to most foreign nationals on Monday, effective Wednesday, but at the time exempted U.S. citizens from the ban.

This upset the province of British Columbia — directly to the north of Washington state, one of the worst-hit spots in the United States — which had pushed for U.S. visitors to be banned.

— Reporting for Reuters by Maria Ponnezhath in Bangalore and David Ljunggren in Ottawa.

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