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House GOP urges Biden to lift COVID-19 vaccine mandate at border as Freedom Convoy continues

House Republicans are urging President Biden to take away COVID-19 vaccine necessities for Canadian truck drivers coming into the U.S. as Freedom Convoy protests proceed in Ottawa.

In a letter to Mr. Biden led by Rep. Matthew M. Rosendale of Montana and signed by 63 Republicans Thursday, the lawmakers mentioned the mandate poses “disastrous consequences for American commerce.”

“We are deeply concerned by the recent implementation of COVID-19 vaccination requirements for essential travelers to the United States and Canada despite widespread opposition and serious concerns over the mandate’s effect on our nation’s supply chain,” the lawmakers wrote.

Last month, the administration started requiring non-U.S. people searching for to cross the U.S. border with Canada and Mexico to present proof of vaccination. The requirement applies to each important and nonessential journey.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas mentioned the up to date necessities “reflect the Biden-Haris administration’s commitment to protecting public health while safely facilitating the cross-border trade and travel that is critical to our economy.”

But the lawmakers mentioned the requirement has solely weakened an already weak provide chain as the U.S. works to bounce again from the pandemic.

“The decision by your administration and the Canadian government is not only impacting truck drivers, but it also hurts American agriculture and countless industries across our nation,” the lawmakers wrote. “Many farmers and ranchers rely on Canada for agricultural inputs and other products.”

According to estimates from the American Trucking Association, massive rigs moved 70.9% of the “value of surface trade between the U.S. and Canada” in 2020. In complete, vans coming into the U.S. from each Canada and Mexico moved $695 billion price of products.

The administration has scrambled to mend the weakened provide chain battered by months of delays and backups. Last summer time, the administration stood up a process pressure aimed at shoring up the move of products.

But the lawmakers mentioned Thursday that the choice to require proof of vaccine for truckers was shortsighted, and ignored enter from trade specialists. 

“Instead of consulting with industry professionals to repair our collapsing supply chains, your administration is instead burdening an already depleted trucking workforce and causing irreparable harm to our economy at a time when we can least afford it,” the lawmakers wrote.

The mandates have come into sharp focus as a gaggle of truckers identified as the “Freedom Convoy” converged on Canada’s capital metropolis final month in protest of the vaccine mandates at the border. The demonstration unfold all through the nation as a present of resistance towards COVID-19-related mandates.

Mr. Biden urged Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau final week to use federal powers to quell protests after demonstrations at U.S.-Canada border crossings started impacting the move of products throughout the border.

Mr. Trudeau invoked Canada’s Emergencies Act earlier this week, which supplies the federal government broad authority to crack down on protesters.

Late final week, police started clearing a blockade at the Ambassador Bridge, a key border crossing with Michigan, that had compelled U.S. auto producers to minimize manufacturing due to elements shortages.

Earlier this week, authorities started clearing the Coutts, Alberta, border crossing into Montana.

On Wednesday, police started warning truckers in Ottawa to instantly depart or face arrest.

Harold Jonker, one of many organizers behind the demonstration in Ottawa, scoffed at the pamphlets and mentioned Thursday that demonstrators plan to stay within the capital metropolis.

With no clear finish to the protests in sight and with a provide chain nonetheless in restoration, the lawmakers mentioned they concern the mandates will solely trigger additional financial hurt.

“We strongly urge you to work with the Canadian government to lift these mandates before the American public suffers for it,” the lawmakers wrote. 

For more information, visit The Washington Times COVID-19 resource page.

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