News & Politics

Biden Administration Prioritizing Vaccines for Canadian Truckers Over Remedying Supply Chain

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

Before the president jetted off to a billionaire’s island estate, the Biden administration announced that all “essential, nonresident travelers crossing U.S. land borders, such as truck drivers, government and emergency response officials” must be fully vaccinated by Jan. 22.

That includes the 5,500-mile land border between the United States and Canada.

The Toronto Star, Canada’s largest daily newspaper, called the decision, “A trucking nightmare: Supply chain horrors feared as thousands of unvaccinated drivers won’t be allowed to cross U.S.-Canada.”

The president of the Canadian Trucking Alliance estimates that perhaps 20% of the 120,000 Canadian truckers who regularly cross into the U.S. may not be vaccinated before the deadline.

“Even if every single company gets their vaccination rates up to 90 per cent, that’s still 12,000 drivers,” Stephen Laskowski, who’s seeking a deadline delay, said.

Even during last year’s pandemic, more than $300 billion of freight traveled by truck between the U.S. and Canada. With the COVID-19 recovery and spending surge of 2021, that number is now significantly higher.

This won’t affect the southern border. To appease powerful labor unions, protectionists long ago disallowed Mexican trucking companies from operating in the U.S. When goods are shipped in from Mexico, they are either transported by U.S. truckers or brought by Mexican truckers and switched to an American truck at the border.

Related: MSNBC Host Bemoans Trucking Industry Being Full of White Men

Even if you’re pro-vaccine, there’s no reason our government should mandate them for international truck drivers. In a supply chain crisis, the Biden administration’s priority should be lessening regulations on trucking, not adding more.

Exacerbating a major labor shortage to slightly reduce transmission simply makes little sense. Between Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg audaciously blaming a lack of child care for the supply-chain crisis and Biden clearly being more concerned with vaccination status, this administration remains unserious about improving the lives of Americans.