Freedom Convoy: The US presses Canada on the border blockade

WASHINGTON – The Biden administration on Thursday called on Canada to use federal power to ease disruptions at the US-Canada border caused by protests against coronavirus duties that have blocked a key trade route between the US and Canada. US and Canada, a White House official said.

“U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security (Alejandro) Mayorkas and (Transportation Secretary Pete) Buttigieg spoke to their Canadian counterparts, urging them to use Federal powers to address this situation.” at our common border,” the official said in a statement.

The Biden administration is primarily focused on ending congestion at the Ambassador Bridge, which connects Detroit and Windsor, Ont., as well as at other ports of entry, the official said. The bridge is one of North America’s busiest border crossings and a supply route for Detroit’s automakers.

Canadian truckers started a protest as a “Freedom Convoy” occupying the capital Ottawa to protest the vaccination or quarantine order for cross-border drivers issued by the US government. reflect. They began sealing off the Ambassador Bridge on Monday and have since closed two smaller border crossings.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is adding staff to its command at the National Football League’s Super Bowl in Los Angeles in response to reports of a convoy that could disrupt today’s game. Sunday, the official said. .

The department is also aware of reports of a convoy event in Washington, DC, in early March and is “taking all necessary steps” to ensure it does not disrupt transportation or the federal government. , according to the official.

“At this time, we have no indication that the individuals involved are engaged in any activity other than that protected by First Amendment,” the official said.

(Reporting by Steve Holland; writing by Costas Pitas and Eric Beech; editing by Tim Ahmann and Sandra Maler)

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