Recent Publications

Land-Based Freight Flows Between the U.S. and its NAFTA Neighbors

Border Policy Brief, Fall 2016

The value of land-based freight flows between the U.S. and its NAFTA neighbors has important implications for both border management policies and infrastructure priorities. This Border Brief uses 2015 data to asses the value of imports and exports that flow across our northern and southern borders, as well as the commodity mix at some of the busiest land ports-of-entry.

Passenger Preclearance in the Pacific Northwest

Border Policy Brief, Spring 2016

Passenger preclearance for U.S. bound travelers currently exists only in the air mode. However, the Preclearance Agreement signed in March, 2015 authorizes expansion to the land, marine, and rail modes. This Border Brief highlights rail and marine locations in the Pacific Northwest that will be affected by the Preclearance Agreement, and monetizes some of the benefits accrued to both travelers and operators if preclearance is implemented.

Exchange Rates, Border Crossings and Retail Sales in the Cascade Gateway

Border Policy Brief, Winter 2016

The recent decline in the value of the Canadian Dollar has influenced cross-border passenger vehicle traffic at many ports along the Canada - U.S. border. This Border Brief analyzes shifts in the exchange rate and border crossing volumes at the three major gateways along the northern border, focusing on changes in sales tax revenues in Whatcom County.

Washington State's Economy in Relation to Canada and the Border

Special Report, June 2015

This report is a consolidation of research results gathered over the past decade, revealing the economic interdependence between Canada and Washington.



Housed at Western Washington University, the Border Policy Research Institute (BPRI) is a multi-disciplinary institute that undertakes research that informs policy-makers on matters related to the Canada - U.S. border. Priority focus areas are trade and transportation, economics, environment, immigration, and border security. The University established the BPRI to further a mission of promoting research, academic programs, and public programming on critical policy issues affecting the Pacific Northwest. The BPRI works closely with cognate programs at the University and collaborates with many public and private entities within the Pacific Northwest.

News & Events

Columbia River Treaty Symposium, Feb. 22 & 23

This 2 day symposium is co-hosted by Western Washington University and Northwest Indian College to bring together Tribal and First Nations leaders, government representatives, non-government organizations, academics, and private industry to address the modernization of the Columbia River Treaty. Symposium information and registration is available HERE

BPRI Research on Labor Mobility

Recent adjustments to U.S. immigration policy and the ongoing discussions about renegotating NAFTA draw heightened attention to the importance of understanding labor mobility provisions in the U.S. For more information, see BPRI Border Policy Briefs: "Improving the Process of Adjudicating TN Status," which explores how Trade NAFTA status is processed for Canadians at U.S. land ports-of-entry, and "Comparing U.S. and Canadian Foreign Worker Policies."

BPRI part of the North American Stakeholder Dialogue

BPRI participated in the inaugural Stakeholder Dialogue on North American Competitiveness at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, DC. The dialague is one of the key deliverables of the 2016 North American Leaders Summit and will provide private sector, local government, labor, and civil society representatives an opportunity to contribute ideas on increasing North American competitiveness.

Cross-Border Freight Study launched

In conjunction with the Whatcom Council of Governments, BPRI has launched an ongoing study of freight operations at 3 ports of entry in the Cascade Gateway. As part of the International Mobility & Trade Corridor Program, WWU students and staff are collecting data to help characterize freight flows in the region.


Call for Proposals

Our annual call for research proposals has closed for the '17-'18 academic year. Please check back next Fall.

2017-2018 Graduate Research Fellowship

The BPRI is launching a Graduate Research Fellowship in conjunction with Huxley College, offering a full year of financial support. Graduate fellows are intimately involved with the policy research undertaken at the BPRI and have the opportunity to present research at a regional conference. Applications are currently being accepted.