Trucks carrying goods across the U.S.–Canada border have had to shift their routes because of the protests against COVID-19 vaccine mandates in Canada, the White House said Feb. 7.
While there have been zero impacts to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) operations, “some shipments were rerouted by our law enforcement partners to other points of entry due to road closures,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters during a briefing in Washington.
“Some shippers have had to reroute. But CBP has been in communication throughout to ensure shipments can be cleared and onto the normal routes,” she added.
CBP, which has more than 60,000 employees, handles border security.
Later Monday, Ambassador Bridge, which connects Michigan to Ontario, was closed because of protests against mandates.
Psaki was responding after a reporter with Reuters asked if the U.S. government was investigating “right-wing forces” that the reporter claimed have been supporting the protesters.
“Is there any, kind of, you know, involvement of U.S. authorities in looking at those money flows going to these truckers? And are you concerned about it?” the reporter wondered.
After speaking about the rerouting, Psaki added, “In terms of an assessment of any other engagement from here, we don’t really have any update on that or any investigation to read out at this point in time.”
Truckers have gathered in multiple cities in Canada, including Ottawa and Winnipeg, to protest against the Canadian government’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate for all truck drivers crossing the Canada–U.S. border. The movement started on Jan. 29.
Similar protests have since spread around the world, including to New Zealand, the Netherlands, and the United States.
The fundraising website GoFundMe also seized funds from the convoy but backtracked on a plan to donate the funds to charities of their choosing after several U.S. officials said they would probe the move.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said he won’t meet with the truckers and Ottawa’s mayor on Feb. 7 said federal ministers should appoint a mediator to try to resolve the situation.
Many protesters have said they won’t stop protesting until the border mandate and similar restrictions are lifted.
Andrew Chen, Limin Zhou, and Omid Ghoreishi contributed to this report.