WINDSOR, ONT. -- The Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Detroit Regional Chamber, and the Canada-US Business Association have issued a joint statement calling on the United States government to reciprocate the actions of the Canadian government and ease border restrictions.

“Our respective nations’ social and business fabric are inextricably intertwined – especially in the automotive, mobility, technology and health care sectors,” said the statement. “Safely easing border restrictions will aid North American competitiveness in the global marketplace as well as the economic well-being of individuals and businesses in both Canada and the United States.”

Last week, Canada announced the Canadian border would re-open for fully vaccinated American citizens and permanent residents starting Aug. 9.

A few days later U.S. officials announcing the land border will remain closed to non-essential travel until at least Aug. 21.

The U.S.-Canada border has been closed to non-essential travel for 16 months.

The statement claims travel restrictions imposed to contain the spread of the virus are estimated to have cost Canada's gross domestic product (GDP) $27.9 billion to $37.1 billion and the loss of 400,000 to 500,000 jobs in 2020.