COVID-19 Labour Trade

Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters calls for reopening of Coutts border crossing

Ottawa, February 3, 2022 – Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) is calling for the government to bring an immediate end to the trucker blockade at the Canada-U.S. border crossing at Coutts Alberta. The blockade is affecting about $44 million in trade between Canada and the U.S. every day.

The Coutts-Sweet Grass crossing is Alberta’s most important connection to its largest market – the United States, operating 24 hours a day, seven-days-a-week with between 800 and 1,200 trucks moving goods across the border daily.

It’s estimated that about $15.9 billion a year in two-way trade goes through this single crossing every year with almost as many goods being exported as imported. Now, the snarled traffic and bottlenecks are further disrupting the supply chain and are being felt by industries including manufacturing, oil and gas, agriculture, forestry, and retail.

“We were already in a supply chain crisis brought on by floods and pandemic related shortages, but this blockade is making a bad situation worse,” said David MacLean, Vice President of CME’s Alberta and Saskatchewan division. “We need this situation to end so we can keep manufacturers working.”

MacLean said that costs and delays increase every additional day the blockade is in place. Even if the blockade is lifted today, it could take as long as a week or two to clear the backlogs, further putting manufacturers on the backfoot and affecting the supply chain.

“Manufacturers use the Coutts border crossing to export their products to the U.S. and beyond and to import critical business inputs,” said MacLean. “This crossing is a critical piece of transportation infrastructure not only for Alberta but the entire country.”

Quick Facts

  • The manufacturing sector represents more than 10% of Canada’s gross domestic product.
  • Manufacturers directly support more than 1.7 million jobs in Canada.
  • The total manufacturing sales in 2019 surpassed $685 B.

For more information

Ady Stefan Calin
Manager, Communications & Branding
Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters
(514) 293-3765
ady.calin@cme-mec.ca