In this photo taken Wednesday, May 30, 2018, a sail boat maneuvers near a large cruise ship near Juneau, Alaska. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer, file)
UPDATED 10:47 AM PT – Tuesday, May 25, 2021
A group of GOP lawmakers from Alaska are applauding Joe Biden for helping out the state’s cruise industry in a rare act of bipartisanship.
On Monday, Biden signed the Alaska Tourism Restoration Act to temporarily allow American cruise ships to sail directly from Washington State to Alaska without having to dock in Canada. The law is meant to be a stopgap measure allowing vessels to subvert current law mandating they have to dock at foreign ports when they enter foreign waters.
Back in February, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau extended a ban on international cruise ships through February 2022. GOP Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) said this became a rallying point for bipartisan support.
“I think that motivated a lot of people, even beyond Alaska, saying hey we’re not going to let Canada dictate who can visit another state in America,” he stated. “So this bill essentially bypasses Canada…by the way unanimous in the Senate.”
The delegation said this was an urgent matter while pointing out agued Alaska’s cruise season starts in June and trickles into September. In the meantime, the law is expected to stay in effect until Canada lifts its travel restrictions.