VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Aug. 17 (UPI) -- Increased security at the U.S.-Canadian border cost Canada about $19.1 billion in 2010, a report released Thursday said.
Researchers Alexander Moens and Nachum Gabler of the Fraser Institute, a conservative think tank in Vancouver, said the figure combines direct costs of security measures adopted after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington, with lost trade and tourism. The figure they gave, about the same in U.S. and Canadian dollars, was about 1.5 percent of the Canadian GDP.
"Canadians and Americans are at a crossroads: either we continue with incremental and uncoordinated border programs as we have often done since 9/11 or we begin to create a new border regime," Moens said.
The report said Canadian exports to the United States have dropped about 11 percentage points since 2001. Statistics Canada said U.S. tourism to Canada dropped even more sharply between 2000 and 2009, with the number of overnight visits down 23 percent, the QMI Agency reported.