President Joe Biden has received a request from 14 Republican U.S Senators who ask him for an exemption of Canadian truck drivers in the vaccine mandate for foreign truck owners/operators. They argue that the mandate will disrupt the North American supply chain.
The mandate says that after January 22nd, Truck Drivers from Canada and Mexico will be restricted from crossing the U.S. border unless they are vaccinated against COVID 19. The Canadian Trucking Alliance estimates that as a consequence, at least 22,000 Canadian drivers could stop crossing the border in consequence.
The Senators shared their concerns that the approximate 14,000 total truck entries into the U.S from Canada daily, hauling more than $846 million of goods, could be disrupted by the mandate, stating, “We fear that the imposition of vaccination mandates as a requirement to cross the land border will exacerbate the existing challenges facing our feirght networks and supply chain and could further fuel inflation and rising prices on top of what Americans are already seeing. Our nation’s truck drivers worked diligently during the pandemic to facilitate critical cross-border freight movements that helped to feed and clothe American communities. Now, implementing these policies could cost them their jobs”.
As they highlight in the communication, truck drivers have shown a low COVID-19 transmission rate, primarily, because they spend most of their workday alone in the cab. As truck drivers are an indispensable component of North America Trade, they urge President Biden to establish a reciprocal policy between the U.S and Canada allowing cross-border truck drivers to operate without a vaccine mandate.