The administration of President Joe Biden is now requiring all non-U.S. citizens entering the country, including Canadian and Mexican truck drivers, to present proof that they are fully vaccinated against the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19). This move is guaranteed to make America’s supply chain crisis even worse.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the change in policy on Jan. 22.
“The DHS will require that non-U.S. individuals entering the United States via land ports of entry or ferry terminals along our Northern and Southern borders be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and be prepared to show related proof of vaccination,” said DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. “These new restrictions will apply to non-U.S. individuals who are traveling for both essential and non-essential reasons. They will not apply to U.S. citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents or U.S. nationals.”
The change, which was first announced in October last year, makes American land and port border policy align more closely with the vaccination requirements already in place for non-U.S. citizens entering the country by air.
Non-U.S. citizens, nationals, permanent residents or immigrants entering the country by plane must be fully vaccinated and present proof of recovery from COVID-19 within the past 90 days or a negative coronavirus test taken no more than one day before boarding.
“These updated travel requirements reflect the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to protecting public health while safely facilitating the cross-border trade and travel that is critical to our economy,” claimed Mayorkas.
The impact of this vaccine mandate is expected to be felt most acutely by the U.S.-Canada freight market. Before the vaccination requirements, around 160,000 truckers employed on both sides of the border handle cross-border freight. Seventy-five percent of them are Canadian. (Related: Vaccine mandate for truckers entering Canada now in effect; unvaccinated American truckers will be TURNED AWAY.)
According to the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA), the vaccine mandate could prohibit an estimated 12,000 unvaccinated Canadian truck drivers from entering the United States. The American Trucking Associations (ATA) believes 10 to 15 percent of its truckers that handle cross-border freight may leave as a result of the mandates.
The vaccine mandate adds pressure to an industry that is already under significant strain, with many fleets operating significantly below full strength. Capacity has already tightened and the price of hiring a trucker on the spot has surged.
“The supply chain is already fragile – so it puts all of us in a precarious situation,” noted Dan Einwechter, CEO of Challenger Motor Freight, a Canadian trucking and logistics company.
The CTA said it “remains engaged with U.S. Customs and Border Protection and contacts south of the border regarding enforcement of the U.S. vaccination mandate.”
Bob Costello, chief economist of the ATA, said the organization is “very concerned” about the mandate.
“Canada is our largest trading partner, so any disruption at the border will certainly have consequences for the U.S. economy whether it is the auto sector and other manufacturing products or consumer goods,” said Costello.
Brian Hitchcock, the owner of MBH Trucking in Michigan, a trucking company whose main source of income is hauling diesel exhaust fuel back and forth between Ontario and Michigan, believes he will lose around 40 percent of his revenue because only five of his 30 drivers are vaccinated.
“And it’s all because we can’t cross the border,” said Hitchcock. “It’s affecting every sector of what we use in this country.”
Hitchcock, also the interim executive director of the Michigan Trucking Association, said that of the 15 other trucking companies he has spoken to, 75 percent of their combined 400 drivers are unvaccinated.
“How do you force a mandate on a bunch of truck drivers who have been out there on the front line for 20 months and never asked for anything?” said Hitchcock. “They were the ones that kept our economy moving and supplies [going], so you never ran out of food.”
More related stories:
Listen to this episode of the “Health Ranger Report,” a podcast by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, as he talks about how Canada is already seeing food shortages following the implementation of its own ban on unvaccinated truckers.
Learn more about how the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for truckers will bring about the collapse of supply chains at SupplyChainWarning.com.
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