The Biden administration has announced plans to require Canadian truck drivers crossing the Canada-U.S. border to get vaccinated.
As American consumers hurt from the soaring prices of goods and services, the Biden administration has done little to amend the ongoing supply chain crisis. Starting on January 22, The United States government will require all non-resident truck drivers, as well as government and emergency response officials, to be fully vaccinated in order to cross the U.S. border.
A senior administration official said that the vaccine requirement, that the White House previewed in October, will be imposed on essential travellers. The mandate is similar to the one that was put in place for tourists who enter the U.S. for leisure when the borders reopened for fully vaccinated individuals, the Star-Tribune reported.
The mandate has been set to take effect on January 22 but was originally scheduled for November 8, when it faced backlash and was pushed back.
On October 29, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced:
Starting November 8, when arriving at a U.S. land POE or ferry terminal, non-citizen travelers should be prepared to (1) provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination, as outlined on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website; and (2) verbally attest to their reason for travel and COVID-19 vaccination status during a border inspection.
Any non-citizen attempting to enter the United States through illegal means or without appropriate documentation may be subject to expulsion or removal. Travelers arriving at a U.S. land POE or ferry terminal should be prepared to present any other relevant documents as requested by a CBP Officer.
Across the country, independent truck drivers slammed the decision. Speaking for the trucking group Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, spokeswoman Norita Taylor said Biden’s decision showed “how unnecessary government mandates can force experienced owner-operators and independent truckers out of business.”
“These requirements are another example of how impractical regulations will send safe drivers off the road,” Taylor added.
The Biden administration’s move to require vaccinations for essential travellers follows Canada’s announcement that it would require truck drivers, whether American or Canadian, to be double vaccinated for COVID-19 by January 15 when entering Canada.
According to the Canadian Trucking Alliance, roughly 70% of the $648 billion trade between the U.S. and Canada is transported by trucks.
“There are 120,000 Canadians who operate cross border and 40,000 U.S.-licensed drivers moving north-south trade,” reports Heavy Duty Trucking.
“We are extremely concerned there is a perfect storm brewing,” said CTA president Stephjen Laskowski, slamming the decision. “In light of worldwide supply chain disruptions and delays, it’s unclear how the supply chain and the trucking industry, in particular, can withstand further turmoil and maintain the service levels required to deliver critical products Canadians and Americans need.”
The Daily Wire reported:
CTA, which said their estimate was a conservative one, claimed that 10-20% of Canadian truck drivers crossing the border (12,000-22,000), and 40% of U.S. truck drivers (16,000) traveling into Canada will quit over the vaccine requirement.
“It is entirely unclear how the industry and supply chain can compensate for thousands of drivers abruptly exiting the system overnight,” Laskowski noted. “Make no mistake, if this mandate moves forward as planned, it would bring significant consequences for the cross-border economy, which will be felt by the Canadian and American public.”