Past Event

Closed Border: Bilateral relations in the COVID era


August 10, 2020, 11:00 am –
12:00 pm
overhead road sign on highway at sunset

CSG East’s Canada-U.S. Relations Committee is presenting two Zoom panels as part of its virtual meetings this summer. While all are welcome to view the Zoom session, only committee appointees may vote on any business issues before the committee.

The United States and Canada agreed in March to temporarily close the border to non-essential travel (meaning no personal or tourist visits) while keeping it open to commercial traffic and essential workers who cross the border for work. The agreement has been extended twice.

What has been the effect of the closed border on the economy of both countries, tourism, trade, agriculture, supply chains, and the new USMCA? What does the near future hold?

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Billy Jones
Member of the Assembly, New York
Billy Jones was elected to the New York State Assembly in 2016 to represent the 115th District, which includes Clinton and Franklin counties, as well as several towns in St. Lawrence County. After graduating from high school, Assemblymember Jones ran his
family’s dairy farm and in 1996 started work as a corrections officer with the New York State Department of Corrections. He served as mayor of Chateaugay from 2009 to 2013 and as a Franklin County legislator starting in 2010, becoming chair in 2013. During his tenure, Billy successfully reformed ethics laws to make government more transparent. Assemblymember Jones is active with various organizations throughout the North Country, including the Chateaugay Rotary Club; he is also a board member of the United Way of the Adirondack Region. He was a member of the North Country Economic Development Council, where he supported numerous projects that help local businesses grow the region’s economy. Assemblymember Jones remains very engaged with issues facing the Canada-U.S. border and was named the honorary co-chair of the Quebec-New York Corridor Coalition, and serves as chair of The Council of State Governments Eastern Region’s Canada-U.S. Relations Committee. He chairs the Task Force on New York Canada Relations and the Subcommittee on Agriculture Economic Development and Farmland Protection. He is a member of the Committee on Agriculture; the Committee on Economic Development, Job Creation, Commerce and Industry; the Committee on Small Business; the Committee on Tourism, Parks, Arts and Sports Development; the Committee on Veterans' Affairs; and the Committee on Governmental Employees. In the Assembly, his legislative priorities are lowering taxes for middle-class families, improving the education system, rooting out government corruption, and creating good-paying jobs so North Country families can thrive for generations to come. Assemblyman Billy Jones is the proud father of a daughter, Ella Liberty Jones, born on July 4th.
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Sabrina Rodríguez
Trade Reporter, POLITICO
Sabrina Rodríguez is a trade reporter at POLITICO. She reports on the Trump administration’s trade agenda, with a focus on USMCA and North American relations more broadly. Sabrina also writes POLITICO’s daily trade newsletter, Morning Trade, and works closely with
the Canada team based in Ottawa and Washington. Her work often takes her from the halls of the Capitol to the front steps of the U.S. trade representative’s office, as well as Mexico City. Rodríguez got her start at POLITICO in 2015 and previously served as a fellow, covering both trade and agriculture issues. She has previously worked at Chalkbeat New York, Miami New Times, The Miami Herald, as well as Diario Perfil in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She is a proud Miami native and Northwestern University grad.
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Canada-U.S. Relations Committee Zoom meeting, Monday, August 10, 2020
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