Western Washington University’s Border Policy Research Institute launches new partnership with Bellingham Regional Chamber of Commerce

BPRI and the Bellingham Regional Chamber of Commerce aim to build connections along the border
The Peace Arch at the U.S.-Canada border in Blaine, Washington.

Bellingham, WA – Western Washington University's Border Policy Research Institute (BPRI) today announces a new partnership with the Bellingham Regional Chamber of Commerce. They plan to create a network of chambers of commerce and related business organizations across the border between Canada and the United States. The network will be used to help share cross-border related news and issues. 

Among the numerous challenges during the pandemic border restrictions, not knowing who you could reach out to for support was a major concern for Guy Occhiogrosso, President/CEO of the Bellingham Regional Chamber of Commerce. “We’re looking forward to this collaboration with the Border Policy Research Institute. Not knowing the business associations and chambers along both sides of the border made a challenging situation even harder, and it’s something we’re hoping to address with this project,” said Occhiogrosso.

The result of this project will boost cross-border collaboration and access to information for those engaged in this work along the border. The network will provide a real time model for communication and help to amplify regional border-related topics amongst chambers of commerce and their constituencies. It will be a source of on-the-ground information for surveys and other data collection regarding border related issues. With the support of WWU’s Ross Distinguished Professor of Canada-United States Business and Economic Relations, BPRI and the Chamber will hire a WWU student research assistant to help collect data for the project during summer 2024. 

The Border Policy Research Institute (BPRI) at Western Washington University is a multi-disciplinary institute that undertakes research that informs policymakers on matters related to the Canada – U.S. border, particularly in the British Columbia – Washington State region. 

The Bellingham Regional Chamber of Commerce is the leading advocate for businesses in the Northwest Washington region. The chamber advocates for a strong business community and aims to make the Bellingham and Whatcom County area a great place to live, work, shop and play by influencing public policy, aiding in economic development, and helping its members succeed.


Media Contacts  

Dr. Laurie Trautman
Director of the Border Policy Research Institute at Western Washington University and Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center & Canadian Global Affairs Institute

Jonathan Higgins
Director of University Communications
Western Washington University