Administration

Biden tells Trudeau US workers are experiencing ‘serious effects’ from trucker protests

President Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke on Friday about the ongoing trucker protests over COVID-19 restrictions that have blocked a bridge between the North American countries, and President Biden explained the impact the situation is having in the U.S.

The protest, which started in Ottawa, has blocked the Ambassador Bridge, which connects Windsor, Ontario, and Detroit, Mich., for four days in a row. Similar protests have cropped up at several other border crossings.

The two spoke “to discuss the ongoing blockade of key bridges and crossings between the United States and Canada, including Detroit/Windsor, Sweetwater/Coutts, and Pembina/Emerson,” according to the White House.

Biden and Trudeau “agreed that the actions of the individuals who are obstructing travel and commerce between our two countries are having significant direct impacts on citizens’ lives and livelihoods.”

The protests are over a vaccine requirement to cross the U.S.-Canada border, a restriction that both the U.S. and Canadian governments have implemented.

Biden spoke to Trudeau about his concern “that U.S. companies and workers are experiencing serious effects, including slowdowns in production, shortened work hours, and plant closures.” The situation so far has forced auto plants in the area to modify their operations or shut down.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Friday that Trudeau “promised quick action in enforcing the law” and thanked Biden, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) and other officials for their efforts. Biden thanked Trudeau for the steps they are taking to open passage of the bridges.

“Fundamentally, how we view this is that the impact of these protests—and this is why we are very focused on this—communities, working being able to travel back and forth across the bridge who are going to work, who may work on different sides of the border, the ability to get food on the table to American families, to get auto parts to manufacturers,” Psaki said.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security received reports this week that truckers on the U.S. side of the border are planning to organize similar anti-mandate protests that would “potentially block roads in major metropolitan cities.”

When asked if the White House is preparing for similar demonstrations in Washington, Psaki said they are in close touch with their Canadian counterparts and local officials, and that they are “working to address this on all fronts.”

The Department of Homeland Security has warned that the possible trucker protests in the U.S., which were planned on social media, could impact the Super Bowl scheduled for Sunday and the State of the Union address scheduled for March 1.

Tags Canada Canada trucker protests COVID-19 vaccines Gretchen Whitmer Jen Psaki Joe Biden Justin Trudeau Pandemic United States

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