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“We Just Want Our Freedom Back” – Ford Considers Flying Car Parts To Canada Factory As Trucker Blockade Continues

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Earlier this week, we warned if the Ambassador Bridge that connects Windsor, Ontario, with Detroit, were to remain shuttered for more than 48 hours, there would be severe consequences for North America's auto industry. By Thursday morning, automakers, including Toyota, Chrysler Pacifica, Ford, and General Motors, halted or limited production at their Canada/U.S. manufacturing plants due to the lack of parts usually sent via truck across the busiest international land border crossing between the U.S. and Canada. Now, at least one automaker is seeking logistical alternatives to bypass the blocked border crossing to restart its Canadian plants. 

Reuters reports Ford is examining air freight as a way to sidestep the logistical nightmare around Ambassador Bridge as demonstrations against pandemic measures and vaccine mandates have chocked a key artery of US-Canada trade. The automaker wants to fly auto parts to a plant in Windsor that produces engines for popular models. 

"We are looking at all options to keep our plants running," a spokesperson for Ford's Canadian division told Reuters.

On Wednesday, Ford told AP that it suspended engine production in Windsor. 

"We hope this situation is resolved quickly because it could have a widespread impact on all automakers in the U.S. and Canada," the company said.

Ford is not the only auto company experiencing logistical headaches because of the bridge closure. Toyota, Chrysler Pacifica, Ford, and General Motors halted or limited production at various plants in the region. Toyota expects to have three manufacturing facilities in Ontario offline for the rest of the week. 

Robert Wildeboer, executive chairman of Martinrea International Inc., told Bloomberg that the auto industry might come to a "screeching halt" due to blockade. Martinrea is a major auto parts manufacturer based in Vaughan, Ontario. It manufactures engine blocks, transmissions, cases, housings, suspensions, chassis components, and body paneling for automotive companies in the region. 

The blockade is so concerning that top banking and government officials closely monitor the situation.  

The Bank of Canada (BoC) Governor Tiff Macklem warned the extended closure of the bridge is very distressing and could impact the economy. Around $511 billion in goods are traded annually between Canada and the United States via roads and bridges. 

There's no timetable on when the disruption will abate. The bridge was forced to close on Monday after truckers protesting against the Canadian vaccine mandate blocked the bridge. On Friday morning, traffic volumes (cars and trucks) remain muted. 

Windsor residents told the Epoch Times that they would continue their blockade of the bridge. Average citizens, not just truckers, are showing up in force to protest the government's medical tyranny. 

"We just want our freedom, we want nothing else. … That's your God-given rights. That's your health choice. … Enough is enough," said Windsor resident Sue Samir who lost her job and livelihood because didn't want to get a second COVID-19 injection after experiencing adverse reactions to the first. 

Fellow protester and Windsor resident Sami Mandalawi said demonstrators would hold the line in their peaceful protest until they get arrested. 

"I'm here because I cherish our Charter of human rights and freedoms in Canada, and I want to protect those freedoms.

"We need to stand up for what's right, and we will do what is required, provided that it is peaceful, with a capital P. We are perfectly prepared to leave in handcuffs and without a finger lifted in aggression towards our police officer, whom we love and who tragically are being put in between a rock and a very hard place," Mandalawi said.

Meanwhile, the Biden administration has requested Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to use federal powers to unblock the bridge and other emerging protests. 

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg urged their Canadian counterparts "to use federal powers to resolve this situation at our joint border and offering the full support of our Homeland Security and Transportation departments," according to a White House official who spoke to CNN on Thursday. 

President Biden closely monitors the situation and is "being regularly briefed" on the matter.

Automakers and their suppliers are America's largest manufacturing sector, responsible for 3% of total GDP. The industry as a whole employs 2.5 million workers. Any disruption to the industry, like what is emerging on the northern border, could have economic impacts on the U.S. and Canada in future quarters. 

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