Recent Publications

Changes in Canadian Shopping Visits to Northwest Washington, 2013 to 2016

Border Policy Brief, Winter 2017

Since 2013, the BPRI has conducted ongoing surveys of the percentage of cars with Canadian license plates in specific shopping locations along the Interstate 5 corridor. This Border Brief highlights some changes in the distribution of Canadian cars that occurred between 2013, when the Canadian dollar averaged $0.97USD and 2016, when it averaged $0.76USD.

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.

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

The J Treaty's Promise & Potential

May 21 & 22, Northwest Indian College

This conference explores the preservation and expansion of cross-border rights of the indigenous peoples of Canada and the U.S. Important for broad economic and cultural reasons, these rights are essential for preserving ties between indigenous peoples whose communities span the U.S./Canada border. For more information, visit

Columbia River Treaty Symposium, Feb. 22 & 23

This 2 day symposium was co-hosted by Western Washington University and Northwest Indian College and brought together Tribal and First Nations leaders, government representatives, non-government organizations, academics, and private industry to address the modernization of the Columbia River Treaty. Information about the program and links to recorded panels are available HERE

BPRI Research on Labor Mobility

Recent adjustments to U.S. immigration policy and the ongoing discussions about renegotating NAFTA are re-invigorating the importance of understanding labor mobility provisions in the U.S. 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."


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.