Tester Urges Biden Administration to Stop Upcoming DHS Mandate & Coordinate with Canada on Vaccine Requirements for Truck Drivers, Other Essential Workers

Cites vaccine rules as potential disruptor of free and fair trade across the U.S.-Canadian border

As a part of his continued effort to strengthen Montana’s economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. Senator Jon Tester this week urged President Biden to halt the implementation of the upcoming Department of Homeland Security vaccine mandate for truck drivers entering the U.S. and to coordinate with Canadian officials in loosening vaccine requirements for truck drivers and other essential workers that frequently cross the U.S.-Canadian border.

“Over the last few weeks, I have heard from Montana farmers and ranchers who are concerned that these new requirements will make it more difficult for them to get fertilizer and other supplies,” said Tester. “Montana producers faced extraordinarily difficult drought conditions over the past year and cannot afford further disruptions as they work to plant this year’s crop… The Administration must work to protect and increase trade and essential travel across the northern border, not put additional road blocks in the way.”

Tester’s letter was prompted by the Department of Homeland Security’s decision to require all foreign travelers entering the United States to be vaccinated starting on January 22, 2022 – including Canadian and other non-citizen truck drivers. Prior to the decision, these essential workers have been able to bring supplies to the U.S. and freely cross the border for the first two years of the pandemic. Canada also began requiring proof of vaccination for all essential travelers, including truck drivers, on January 15, 2022.

After hearing from businesses across Montana about the catastrophic effects of potential vaccine mandates, Tester recently voted in favor of a Congressional Review Act resolution opposing the Occupational Safety and Health Administration rule mandating coronavirus vaccinations for private businesses with more than 100 employees. Tester also led a months-long push to reopen the U.S.-Canadian border to vaccinated Canadian travelers, boosting commerce and business along Montana’s Northern front.

As a part of his effort to strengthen Montana businesses and families, Tester has been a steadfast advocate for vaccination in Montana and across the nation, and was the only member of the Montana delegation to support the American Rescue Plan Act, which ensured that every eligible Montanan could receive a vaccine.

Tester’s full letter to President Biden can be read HERE.