Representative requests vaccine mandate exemption for cross-border truckers

February 15, 2022

Mark Schremmer


Calling vaccine mandates disruptive to the supply chain, Rep. Matt Rosendale, R-Mont., is asking for cross-border truckers to be exempted.

Rosendale drafted a letter to President Joe Biden, urging him to work with the Canadian government to lift the COVID-19 vaccine requirements for essential travelers that went into effect in January. Rosendale is asking other members of Congress to sign the letter in support.

The United States and Canada each have mandates blocking unvaccinated foreign nationals, including truck drivers, from crossing the border. Canada’s vaccine mandate, which requires U.S. truckers to show proof of vaccination before entering the country, went into effect Jan. 15. The U.S. mandate, which requires foreign cross-border truckers to be vaccinated, started Jan. 22.

In January, the Canadian Trucking Alliance estimated that tens of thousands of Canadian and American truckers would stop hauling freight across the border because of the vaccine mandates. The rules prompted protests in Canada, and similar protests are planned in the United States.

“The mandates are causing major disruptions to the trucking industry and triggering ripple effects through the U.S. economy,” Rosendale wrote.

“The decision by your administration and the Canadian government is not only impacting truck drivers, but it also hurts American agriculture and countless industries across our nation. Many farmers and ranchers rely on Canada for agricultural inputs and other products. Families, in northern states especially, rely on Canada for fuel such as propane to heat their home this winter. The recently implemented vaccine requirement is disrupting the transport of essential products to the American people who rely on them.”

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association supports Rosendale’s letter and encourages its members to call their representatives and ask them for their support.

“These mandates are disrupting commerce and forcing hard-working truckers off the road,” OOIDA wrote to its members on Monday, Feb. 14. “Rep. Rosendale is looking for other members of Congress to join him in sending this letter, so call your representative today and ask them to sign on. You can do so by clicking here.”

OOIDA letters opposing the vaccine mandates

Earlier this month, OOIDA sent letters to Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, asking them to exempt truckers from the vaccine mandates.

“We support efforts from your administration to combat the spread of COVID-19, however we cannot endorse short-sighted policies that disrupt commerce, put truckers out of work and create shortages for essential supplies,” OOIDA wrote in the U.S. letter. “Rather than imposing a heavy-handed mandate on the trucking workforce who has delivered time and time again for both U.S. and Canadian citizens, your administration must find less intrusive alternatives that can enhance public safety and foster trade between the U.S. and Canada.” LL