Plants have been forced to shut because car parts are being held up at two US border points blocked by truckers protesting against a vaccine mandate.

Canada’s Transport Minister, Omar Alghabra, called it an illegal economic blockade against all Canadians.

The trade disruption is estimated to be costing $300m (£221m) a day.

Toyota, the world’s biggest car manufacturer, has halted production at three factories in Ontario, saying no more vehicles will be produced there this week.

Output has also been halted at a Ford engine factory, while Stellantis, which owns Chrysler, said parts shortages had affected shifts at its Ontario plant.

The shutdowns come as a further blow to the car industry, which was already struggling with a global shortage of semiconductor chips due to the economic effects of the pandemic.

Industry experts say that the protests could result in company layoffs and increase the prices that consumers pay for vehicles.

The demonstrations began late last month in central Ottawa, where about 400 trucks remain.

But since Monday, drivers have also been blocking the largest international suspension bridge in the world at a border crossing that accounts for about a quarter of US-Canada trade.

The closure of the Ambassador Bridge by about 100 protesters in their big rigs has been denounced by trade groups. The span connects Windsor, Ontario, to Detroit, in the US state of Michigan.

Michelle Krebs, a senior analyst with Autotrader in Detroit, told AFP that North American assembly plants relied on timely parts deliveries across the suspension bridge.

She said the car industry was “a significant portion of the economy and an important portion of consumer spending – it’s the second-largest purchase people make – and it’s been hampered in the past year”.

Another key trade link between Coutts, Alberta and Sweet Grass, Montana has also been blocked by protesters for several days.

The truckers are protesting against a rule requiring truckers entering Canada to be fully immunised against coronavirus. The demonstrators have also voiced opposition to Covid passports and mask mandates.

The White House has called for an end to the protests, saying they risk hurting the car industry and US agricultural exports.

This news is originally published on BBC News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Novak Djokovic: I’m not Anti-Vax but will Sacrifice Trophies if Told to Get Jab

Novak Djokovic has said he would rather miss out on future tennis trophies than be forced to get a Covid vaccine.

NATO Welcomes More U.S. Forces to Romania, Says Reinforcing in East

NATO will continue to reinforce its eastern flank amid a Russian military…

Elon Musk says Starlink internet service ‘active’ in Ukraine

Billionaire says satellite broadband service is available in Ukraine, as Russian attacks disrupt the internet.

India flight ban extended until June 14: Dubai’s Emirates

Dubai: Emirates airways on Sunday said passenger flights from India will remain…