Biden administration tester: ‘End vaccination mandate for truck drivers and other travelers entering the United States’

Senator’s letter follows reports that Canada plans to end vaccination requirements for travelers

US Senator Jon Tester continued his efforts to fully reopen the northern border today by urging the Biden administration to end the vaccination mandate for truckers from Canada and other travelers entering the US after reports emerged. indicated that Canada plans to end its vaccination requirements for foreign travelers entering its borders as early as this month.

“Truckers and the goods they transport are the engine of our economy. This is especially true in northern border states, like Montana, which have a special trading relationship with Canada,” wrote Tester to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. “Canada’s fertilizer, hay and other agricultural products are essential for farmers and ranchers in Montana and across America. Vaccination mandates for truckers, along with reduced hours at ports of entry, longer driving times and shortages of truckers are making it harder and more expensive for U.S. farmers and ranchers to get the products they need. need.

The tester concluded: “I urge [the Department of Homeland Security] ending the vaccination mandate for truckers and other travelers entering the United States, and working with Canadian authorities to end all mandates in a coordinated manner.

Tester has been Montana’s leading champion to reopen the northern border and ensure U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers have the resources they need to secure the border and protect communities. from Montana. Earlier this year, Tester pushed Secretary Mayorkas to end vaccination requirements and reopen all land ports of entry along the Canada-US border in pre-pandemic times. Tester and John Hoeven (RN.D.) led a bipartisan group of senators in urging the Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Committee to provide CBP with the resources needed to properly staff and secure the Canada-U.S. border during the 2023 financial year.

In May, Tester asked Secretary Mayorkas about the department’s plans to retain CBP officers, secure the northern border, and restore ports of entry between the United States and Canada to pre-pandemic business hours.

Tester first called for the full reopening of the northern border in May 2021, urging the Biden administration to work with Canadian authorities to quickly and safely open the border. He then sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, urging the administration to move forward with reopening Canada in a “safe, fair and efficient manner.” . In November, the Biden administration answered Tester’s call and reopened the border to vaccinated travelers.

Montana shares a 545-mile border with Canada and is home to many border towns whose economies depend on Canadian trade and commerce. According to Canada’s trade commissioner, Canada is Montana’s largest international trading partner, buying more from that state than from the next six states combined. U.S. Trade Representative reports estimate that Montana exported $692 million worth of goods to Canada in 2018, representing 42% of the state’s total merchandise exports.

Read the full letter from the tester HERE.

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