December 2019 - January 2020 Best Cities for Work in B.C.

With a mission to inform, empower, celebrate and advocate for British Columbia's current and aspiring business leaders, BCBusiness go behind the headlines and bring readers face to face with the key issues and people driving business in B.C.

Issue link: http://digital.canadawide.com/i/1184822

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Page 12 of 71

( the informer ) ON THE RADAR PUMP UP THE VOLUME Border hassles or not, the U.S. remains our most important trading partner by far ISTOCK B uy American and Hire American. That's the title of the executive order President Donald Trump signed in April 2017. Now the directive is sowing confusion and turmoil for B.C. and other Canadian business travellers trying to enter the U.S. Trump ordered U.S. cus- toms, border and immigration agencies to turn a steely eye toward people entering the country for work or to do busi- ness. His purported aim is to keep more American jobs in American hands. As a result, border officials are putting Canadian travel- lers under the microscope to ensure they're following the letter of immigration laws. Visi- tors have long travelled south for meetings and other routine business. Since 2017, many are facing delays, being asked to provide extensive documenta- tion and, in some cases, getting turned away. Meanwhile, Canadian managers and specialized pro- fessionals working in the U.S. under what's called an L-1 visa are running into new hurdles when applying for extensions. They can no longer file their applications at a port of entry. Instead, they must go to a service centre and pay pre- mium processing fees if they want to avoid a months-long adjudication process. Ieva Aubin, a Seattle-based employment and immigration lawyer and partner at Dorsey & Whitney, says B.C. businesses keep her phone ringing. "A lot of clients call us and say, 'I'm just so baffled,'" she reveals. Facing far more scrutiny at the border, they're also struggling to navigate the new guidelines so they can keep entering the U.S. reliably and efficiently. Canadians can cross the U.S. border under different categories, depending on the Border War Donald Trump's push to protect American jobs has left B.C. entrepreneurs and professionals doing business stateside at the mercy of U.S. customs officials by Dee Hon I N T E R NAT IONA L B U S I N E S S BC STATS, U.S. BUREAU OF TRANSPORTATION STATISTICS Approximate value of B.C. goods shipped stateside last year, a 72-percent increase from $13 billion in 2010 48.9% 14.5% U.S. share of B.C.'s export market in 2018, the largest of any international destin- ation. Mainland China came a distant second, at $23 billion Despite successful efforts to diversify B.C.'s economy and expand business with fast- growing Asian economies, U.S. trade has kept pace. Americans have bought roughly half of the province's exports each year for more than a decade 4 million+ Number of cars, carrying more than 8 million passengers, that entered the U.S. at Blaine, Washing- ton, in 2018. This volume of traffic makes it the province's busiest overland route south DECEMBER/JANUARY 2020 BCBUSINESS 13

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