Recent Publications

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 at these sites.

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

Panel Discussion on Cross-Border Issues

Wednesday, October 26, The Event Center at Silver Reef, Ferndale

The Northwest Business Expo will host a panel discussion on the key issues facing cross-border businesses, with a particular focus on Whatcom County. BPRI director Laurie Trautman will participate as one of the five panelists.

BPRI Call for Proposals Announced, due Dec.1

Our annual CFP for WWU faculty research for the 2017-2018 academic year is now available. Funding can be sought for a wide variety of topics related to the Canada - U.S. border, and Canada - U.S. relations more broadly. Proposals are due December 1, 2016. CLICK HERE for more details.

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.