NLBMDA Urges Biden Administration to Reverse Border Vaccine Mandate
NLBMDA sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) urging the agency to reverse its COVID-19 vaccination mandate for “essential” travelers coming into the United States. Beginning Jan. 22, 2022, DHS will require that all inbound foreign national travelers crossing any U.S. land or ferry port of entry (POE) be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and provide related proof of vaccination. The mandate would not distinguish between essential and non-essential travelers and is separate from the Emergency Temporary Standard (“ETS”) promulgated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”). The Canadian government will also be implementing a similar mandate for travelers coming into Canada.
NLBMDA has serious concerns regarding the impact this vaccination mandate would have on international trade and the lumber and building material supply chain. According to the Canadian Trucking Alliance, an estimated 12,000-16,000 cross-border commercial truck drivers could be prohibited from entering the U.S. under the new mandate. Prior to this action, the Administration did not require essential foreign travelers at the U.S. northern and southern borders to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination before entering the country- including individuals involved with lawful trade, emergency response, and public health.
NLBMDA asked the Administration to carefully consider the unintended consequences of this new mandate and its effect on American small businesses who are struggling to keep pace with record-high price volatility, labor shortages, and supply chain disruptions. In addition, NLBMDA called on the Administration to engage Canadian government leaders and seek a bilateral agreement to end vaccination mandates for essential travelers on both sides of the northern border.
NLBMDA is continuing to lobby the Biden Administration on behalf of the industry and will be communicating about this issue as developments unfold.
For questions, please contact NLBMDA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association