President Trump on Wednesday announced that the U.S. and Canada are temporarily closing their shared border to non-essential traffic as part of the effort to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.
“We will be, by mutual consent, temporarily closing our Northern Border with Canada to non-essential traffic,” Trump tweeted. “Trade will not be affected. Details to follow!”
We will be, by mutual consent, temporarily closing our Northern Border with Canada to non-essential traffic. Trade will not be affected. Details to follow!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 18, 2020
As of Wednesday morning, there were 6,519 cases and 114 deaths in the United States. Canada, meanwhile, has recorded 598 cases of coronavirus and has so far had eight fatalities nationwide.
The move comes as countries across the globe shut down their borders in order to combat the virus that has brought daily life to a standstill. Trump on Saturday added the U.K. and Ireland to a 30-day European travel ban, while Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday previously had closed Canada’s borders to all foreign nationals except U.S. citizens and permanent residents.
Trudeau said the exemption for Americans at the time was due to “the level of integration of our two economies.”
Canada relies on the U.S. for 75 percent of its exports. Much of Canada’s food supply comes from or via the U.S., and 98 percent of its oil exports go to the U.S. About 18 percent of American exports go to Canada.
Trudeau is currently in self-quarantine after his wife Sophie tested positive for the virus.
Future plans for the southern U.S. border remain in development.
Fox News learned Tuesday that the Department of Homeland Security is considering a plan that would turn away asylum seekers and anyone who has crossed the southern border illegally. The idea is currently being developed by DHS staff, but there is still more work to do before it’s presented to Trump for a final decision.
“President Trump is 100 percent committed to protecting the American people from coronavirus and all options are in the table,” a DHS spokesperson told Fox News.
Fox News’ Jon Decker, John Roberts and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Author: Adam Shaw