WDMA Urges Reconsideration of Border Vaccine Mandate

Yesterday, WDMA sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) urging the agency to rescind its COVID-19 vaccination mandate for “essential” travelers coming into the United States. Beginning Saturday, January 22, DHS will require that all inbound foreign national travelers, including truck drivers, crossing any U.S. land or ferry port of entry (POE) be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and provide related proof of vaccination.

The DHS 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 implemented a similar mandate for travelers, including truck drivers, coming into Canada that went into effect on January 15.

In the letter, WDMA expressed serious concerns to DHS regarding the impact this vaccination mandate would have on international commerce and the supply chain for window, door and skylight manufacturers. 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 which included individuals involved with lawful trade.

WDMA asked the Administration to carefully consider the unintended consequences of this new mandate and its effect on manufacturers who are already struggling to keep pace with ongoing labor shortages, inflation and supply chain disruptions. In addition, WDMA urged 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.

WDMA is continuing to lobby the Biden administration on behalf of the industry and will keep members updated on the latest developments.
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