White House says following trucker protests in Canada "very closely"-Xinhua

White House says following trucker protests in Canada "very closely"

Source: Xinhua| 2022-02-10 13:46:37|Editor:

WASHINGTON, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Wednesday that the U.S. government is watching protests staged by truckers in Canada "very closely."

Speaking to reporters during a daily briefing, Psaki expressed concern over a trucker blockade at the Ambassador Bridge, Canada's busiest link to the United States accounting for roughly a quarter of trade between the two countries.

"The blockade poses a risk to supply chains for the auto industry because the bridge is a key conduit for motor vehicles, components, and parts; and delays risk disrupting auto production," she said, adding that they are also "tracking potential disruptions to U.S. agricultural exports from Michigan into Canada."

Protests in Ottawa have paralyzed parts of the Canadian capital over the past two weeks, as truckers honked in anger over COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson declared a state of emergency on Sunday, saying the situation was "completely out of control."

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has reportedly warned law enforcement across the country that similar protests could soon begin here.

A bulletin issued Tuesday by the department to state and local officials said that the agency "has received reports of truck drivers planning to potentially block roads in major metropolitan cities in the United States in protest of, among other things, vaccine mandates for truck drivers."

"While there are currently no indications of planned violence, if hundreds of trucks converge in a major metropolitan city, the potential exists to severely disrupt transportation, federal government operations, commercial facilities, and emergency services through gridlock and potential counterprotests," read the bulletin obtained by U.S. media.