The busiest U.S.-Canada border crossing reopened late Sunday after protests against COVID-19 restrictions closed it for almost a week. The blockade was causing troubles for the fresh produce industry.
The bridge’s owner, Detroit International Bridge Co, said in a statement that “the Ambassador Bridge is now fully open allowing the free flow of commerce between the Canada and US economies once again.” The crossing normally carries 25 percent of all trade between the two countries, and the blockade on the Canadian side had disrupted business in both countries, with automakers forced to shut down several assembly plants.
Many industry partners called for action. Also, the Canadian Produce Marketing Association signed an open letter calling on elected officials at all levels of government to end the ongoing blockades. The fresh produce industry has experienced several challenges over the past two years including, labor shortages, supply chain disruptions, weather-related disasters, and more. “Since the beginning of the pandemic, our industry has faced challenges that have transformed how we do business,” said CPMA President Ron Lemaire. “In addition to the supply chain disruptions that we are dealing with, the current blockades at our borders are not only making shipping of perishable produce extremely difficult but are also impacting the Canadian economy and Canadians’ access to fresh fruits and vegetables.”
Also Border Trade Alliance President Ms. Britton Mullen released a statement regarding protests in Canada that have disrupted cross-border trade between the United States and Canada. “The Border Trade Alliance opposes any protest that closes off trade routes between the U.S. and Canada and that creates a public safety hazard. Too many livelihoods on both sides of the border are being negatively affected by these blockades that are preventing the flow of legitimate trade and travel and that are exacerbating the challenges plaguing the cross-border supply chain. The BTA urges the Canadian federal government, public safety officials, and trucking industry stakeholders to reach a swift and safe resolution to these trade disruptions. Cross-border trade and public health can and should co-exist.”