Senate Republicans call on Biden to lift vaccine mandate for truckers crossing Canadian border

More than a dozen Senate Republicans are calling on President BidenJoe BidenDeputy AG: DOJ investigating fake Trump electors On The Money — Vaccine-or-test mandate for businesses nixed Warner tests positive for breakthrough COVID-19 case MORE to lift the vaccine mandate for truckers crossing the Canadian border, contending the policy will disrupt trade between the U.S. and Canada.

The Biden administration announced in November that it would require all essential foreign travelers in the U.S. to be fully vaccinated by Jan. 22.

The administration revealed in October that all nonessential foreign visitors entering the U.S. by land and air would have to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 8, but officials said it was extending the deadline for essential travelers, including truckers, to allow more time for them to get inoculated and avoid disruptions.

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Now, however, Senate Republicans are calling on the president to create a carveout in the administration’s impending policy.

“We write to share our concerns with the coming vaccine mandate for essential workers at the U.S.-Canada border, which will include truck drivers,” the senators wrote in a letter to Biden dated Dec. 10.

“Trucking is the largest mode of surface trade with Canada; every day, there are approximately 14,000 total truck entries along the U.S.-Canada border hauling more than $846 million of goods. Any disruptions to the continuity of U.S.-Canada trade would likely have far-reaching consequences that extend beyond our shared border,” they added.

The senators said that despite the “good intentions” of the vaccine mandate, they fear the policy will exacerbate existing problems involving foreign networks and the supply chain, and that it could worsen inflation and cause prices to rise higher than they currently are.

The group also expressed concern about truck drivers, who were essential during the pandemic, potentially losing their jobs because of the policy.

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“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,” they wrote.

The group requested that the Biden administration “reengage our northern neighbor and leading export partner to establish a reciprocal policy for cross-border truck drivers that does not include a vaccine mandate and will not disrupt the North American supply chain.”

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