New York businesses warned Congress Thursday that requiring passports at the border will disrupt trade and hurt tourism, while one official tried to reassure lawmakers that an alternative ID would probably cost about $50.

Howard Zemsky, leader of a Buffalo-area business group, warned lawmakers: "Don't turn the war on terrorism into the war on tourism."

He and other witnesses outlined their fears that a new rule to require passports at all land crossings into the United States by 2008 would clog up commerce with the country's biggest trading partner, Canada, and keep out critical tourism dollars.

As part of the government's post-Sept. 11 tightening of security measures, the Department of Homeland Security and Department of State announced the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, which requires passports or one of four other secure documents at border crossings.

Officials on both sides of the U.S.-Canada border argue the passport rule would reduce trade and leisure travel between the two countries. The government, however, maintains it is necessary to prevent terrorists from entering the country.

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