The siege by truck drivers against Corona rules at the tense border crossing between the United States and Canada is beginning to have an economic impact on the North American automotive industry. Automakers Ford and Toyota are cutting production due to the move, which closed the Ambassador Bridge between Detroit and Windsor in Canada for the third day in a row on Wednesday.
Ford said it was closing a plant in Windsor due to a lack of spare parts due to the siege, which was part of Canadian truckers’ resistance to current corona restrictions restricting the capital, Ottawa. The company is cutting production at an assembly plant in Oakville. Toyota will suspend production at three Canadian plants throughout the week due to supply chain disruption.
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Canadian and US officials have expressed concern about the economic impact of the siege. “We are closely monitoring the situation,” said White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told the Canadian Parliament on Wednesday that the move was “unacceptable”. He said the protesters were “trying to prevent our economy, our democracy and the daily lives of our fellow citizens from being disrupted.” That fact must be taken into account. “
However, Trudeau refused to remove the corona controls under the pressure of the siege. Trucker demonstrations began late last month by a nationwide convoy to Ottawa to protest the vaccination of drivers crossing the Canada-US border. That obligation was established by both countries in January.
“The disruption on the Detroit-Windsor bridge is affecting customers, auto workers, suppliers, communities and businesses on both sides of the border,” Ford said in a statement. “We hope this situation will be resolved soon, as it will have far-reaching implications for all automakers in the United States and Canada.”
The Ambassador Bridge across the border river between the US state of Michigan and the Canadian state of Ontario is a key link to the integrated North American automotive industry. A quarter of all trade between the two neighbors passes through the bridge, including car parts and agricultural products. The alternative route through the Canadian border town of Sarnia is also associated with a siege.
Car manufacturers in Canada and the United States use the ‘short delivery time’ system, which allows parts to be delivered shortly before processing. They are not saved to save costs. As a result of this approach, the automotive sector, which has production facilities of hundreds of suppliers in addition to the factories of large automakers, is becoming more sensitive to interruptions in the supply of parts.
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