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American and Canadian officials discuss takeaways from bridge shutdown

The twin spans of the Blue Water Bridges international crossing between the cities of Port Huron, Michigan and Sarnia, Ontario is one of the busiest border crossings between Canada and the United States.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Canadian Transport Minister Omar Alghabra discussed the 7-day blockage initiated in February. Alghabra admits that the American and Canadian economies are intertwined and depend on each other. The Ambassador Bridge that connects Detroit to Windsor, Ontario was halted by traffic after COVID-19 protests and the trucker vaccine mandate. The bridge is responsible for approximately 25% of all trade between the United States and Canada, especially for the automotive industry. During the shutdown, the automotive industry was said to have lost $300 million in wages. There is a new bridge, the Gordie Howe International Bridge, which has been under construction since 2019. The projected opening date is currently by the end of 2024. Ambassador Bridge is privately owned, compared to this new bridged that will be publicly owned.

The pandemic has created an immense amount of strain on international supply chains. There have been shortages and disruptions across the world which have had a constant impact on production efficiency. In efforts to improve circumstances, both countries have agreed to start digitizing and sharing supply chain dates and creating potential solutions for all supply chain challenges.