White House warns protests at US-Canada border crossings are already causing ‘significant impacts’ on some industries

“We know that a number of businesses and industries are experiencing significant impacts from these disruptions. The Department of Homeland Security, the National Security Council, the Department of Transportation and the National Economic Council are working collaboratively, including with their Canadian counterparts at all levels. – to rapidly develop a set of options that match current industry demands – including alternate routes and other planning scenarios,” the official said.

Protests have erupted across Canada, including at the Ambassador Bridge, which connects Windsor, Ont., and Detroit and is the busiest international crossing in North America. Idling trucks and vehicles blocked access to the bridge for a third day on Wednesday, clogging traffic on both sides of the border.

President Joe Biden is “regularly briefed” on the issue, and on Thursday morning Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg spoke separately with their Canadian counterparts, the official said, “urging them to use federal powers to resolve this situation”. at our shared border and offering the full support of our Departments of Homeland Security and Transportation. »

Biden’s homeland security adviser Liz Sherwood-Randall will also speak with her Canadian counterpart tonight, according to the White House.

Administration officials are also in “close contact” with U.S. automakers, shippers, trade and trade associations, unions and farm groups, among others, about the lockdowns.

“We are primarily focused on resolving the blockage of the Ambassador Bridge as well as other entry points,” the official said.

Although the Ambassador Bridge will be closed as of Thursday afternoon, the diversion port – Port Huron, Michigan, north of Detroit – “is fully operational,” the White House said, citing “traffic higher than the normal” in Detroit. -Windsor Tunnel that connects the United States and Canada under the Detroit River.

The Department of Homeland Security is “aware” of reports of a similar “Freedom Convoy” event scheduled to take place in Washington, D.C., next month, and “and is taking all necessary steps to ensure that the convoy does not disrupt lawful commerce and transportation or interfere with the operations of the federal government and law enforcement and emergency services.”

CNN reported Wednesday that the Department of Homeland Security warned that the convoy could disrupt traffic around the Super Bowl Sunday in Los Angeles, and possibly create problems in other major US cities. The official noted that the department was “sending additional personnel to its incident command post.”

CNN’s Paula Newton, Aya Elamroussi and Paul P. Murphy contributed to this report.

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