‘Perfect Storm Brewing’ For Cross-Border Supply Chain Breakdown
Toronto, ON — Trucking stakeholders are warning of dire consequences if the U.S., Canada, and Mexico impose COVID-19 vaccination mandates for cross-border truckers as currently scheduled.
Beginning early next year, North American cross-border truck drivers will be required to show proof of vaccination.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security was the first to announce a mandate for non-citizens last month — which is reportedly set to take effect January 22, 2022.
Canadian and Mexican officials quickly followed with similar vaccination requirements, including for cross-border truckers, beginning January 15, 2022.
The draconian requirements come even as trucking leaders continue to sound the alarm that such mandates will only exacerbate current supply chain woes.
“We are extremely concerned there is a perfect storm brewing,” Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) President Stephen Laskowski recently stated. “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.”
According to a survey of CTA members, 20 percent of Canadian truck drivers crossing the border (22,000), and 40 percent of U.S. truck drivers (16,000), will almost immediately exit the Canada-US trade system should the vaccination mandate take effect early next year.
Laskowski, like many U.S. trucking stakeholders, are imploring governmental leaders for more time before enacting regulations that could result in “economic disaster.”
“As we have seen throughout the world over the last year, supply chains are very fragile ecosystems and sometimes people’s overreactions to the threat of product shortages can cause even further problems,” Laskowski commented. “It is entirely unclear how the industry and supply chain can compensate for thousands of drivers abruptly exiting the system overnight. 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.”
Last month, American Trucking Associations (ATA) President Chris Spear informed a House of Representatives’ committee that a recent survey of ATA members revealed 37 percent of drivers would say “hell no” to the jab even if faced with losing their job.
Despite these clear warnings from trucking leaders, powerful politicians and bureaucrats remain undeterred.
In the U.S., the White House is continuing to push President Biden’s vaccine mandates for federal employees and contractors, health care workers, military members and private employers with 100 employees or more; despite the fact courts have halted each of them while citing a gross overreach of power.
Canadian truckers may also soon be facing even more authoritarian rules.
The Employment and Social Development Canada has proposed requiring all federally regulated workers — including truckers — be required to be fully vaccinated or lose their careers.
The CTA estimates the industry would lose another another 30,000 drivers in addition to those who would exit due to the cross-border restrictions.
Many other workers important to the supply chain, like mechanics, will also be lost, the CTA noted.
TransportationNation.com will continue to track this issue closely.