The United States is continuing to experience a supply chain problem. We are seeing shipyards backlogged with shipping containers waiting for truck drivers. The situation has resulted in empty shelves in a lot of stores.
So … what is President Joe Biden doing to help ensure the U.S. is able to get goods shipped more easily?
Does forcing non-resident truckers crossing the U.S.-Canadian border to show proof of vaccination count? Most observers would say no.
The Biden administration plans to announce a vaccine mandate for non-resident truck drivers and other essential travelers entering the U.S., the Associated Press reported.
The mandate, which takes effect Jan. 22, will bring rules for these essential travelers in line with existing rules for leisure travelers that were implemented Nov. 8 when the U.S. reopened the borders for fully vaccinated people.
Critics pointed out that the move comes at the same time that Americans are witnessing major supply chain disruptions, which includes a shortage of truck drivers.
The Americans Trucking Association warned the government earlier this month that requiring truckers to get jabbed would worsen the crisis in the supply chain, the AP noted.
“While much of the country was sequestered in their homes, the trucking industry served its essential function and did so successfully with safety standards developed by public health experts,” ATA President Chris Spear said in an Oct. 21 letter to the White House opposing vaccine requirements for truckers, including the administration’s now-suspended OSHA vax mandate, Transport Topics reported. “Now placing vaccination mandates on employers, which in turn force employees to be vaccinated, will create a workforce crisis for our industry and the communities, families and businesses we serve.”
Spear warned that vaccine mandates “will have vast unintended consequences.”
“The U.S. is already facing unprecedented supply chain disruptions and delays due to many factors, including significant labor shortages, production shutdowns, a shortage of raw materials, and pent-up consumer demand,” Spear continued, adding, “Our data shows that a vaccine mandate may very well further cripple the supply chain throughout the country by forcing up to 13% of drivers to leave the industry entirely.”
Trucking group Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association also went after the administration over vaccine mandates. The organization’s spokeswoman, Norita Taylor, called the jab requirement an example of “how unnecessary government mandates can force experienced owner-operators and independent truckers out of business” and warned that the mandate would “send safe drivers off the road,” the AP said.
Canadian truckers aren’t happy about it either.
In a story from the Toronto Star headlined, “A trucking nightmare: Supply chain horrors feared as thousands of unvaccinated drivers won’t be allowed to cross U.S.-Canada border,” Canadian Trucking Alliance President Stephen Laskowski said, “This is making a bad situation a lot worse. It’s the perfect storm.”
Other critics of the vaccine mandate for border crossers were quick to point out that the administration is now requiring all non-U.S. residents who enter the country to be vaccinated — except for illegal aliens.
Since Biden was sworn in, approximately 2 million illegal immigrants have come into the U.S. There are currently no vaccine or even COVID testing requirements for illegal aliens.