Tester Statement on Termination of Vaccine Mandate for Truckers Entering United States

Announcement follows months of pressure from Senator

Following a months’ long pressure campaign from U.S. Senator Jon Tester, the Biden Administration yesterday announced the termination of vaccine mandates for Canadian truck drivers entering the United States which will take effect later this month. In response, U.S. Senator Jon Tester, Tester issued the following statement:

“Too often folks in Washington don’t understand what a hard day’s work looks like and the challenges faced by Montana families, which is why I’m happy to see the Biden Administration finally listen to rural America and lift these outdated vaccine mandates. Canada is Montana’s largest trading partner, and folks in the Treasure State depend on reliable cross-border trade to keep costs low and consistent. This is a big win for folks in Montana, and I’ll keep pushing the Administration to restore full hours of operations at our ports of entry so that we can fully resume business with our Canadian friends.”

Tester has been Montana’s most effective proponent for resuming full trade and commerce with Canada along the northern border, and successfully pushed for a partial reopening of the border in November 2021. Tester most recently called on Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Mayorkas to drop the outdated vaccine requirements in February. 

In addition to pushing for an end of the vaccine mandate, Tester has been a leader in calling on the Biden Administration to fully reopen and secure the northern border. In March 2022, he raised these concerns directly to CBP after hearing from Glasgow producers who are struggling to get needed inputs through the Port of Opheim, and Malta residents whose summer motorsports season is being threatened by limited hours of service at the Port of Morgan. In May, Tester grilled Secretary Mayorkas about the Department’s plans to better retain Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents, secure the Northern border, and restore U.S.-Canada points of entry to pre-pandemic operating times. And last June, Tester led a bipartisan letter calling on the Biden Administration to increase staffing, port hours, and technology along the northern border.

Montana shares a 545 mile border with Canada and is home to many border towns whose economies rely on Canadian trade and commerce. As the summer season approaches, Montanans will increasingly rely on cross-border trade to meet their agricultural needs. According to the Canadian Trade Commissioner, Canada is Montana’s top international trading partner, buying more from the state than the next six states combined. Reports by the U.S. Trade Representative estimate that Montana exported $692 million in goods to Canada in 2018, representing 42 percent of the state’s total goods exports.


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