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U.S. to partially close Canada border, will invoke Defense Production Act

Christian Fernsby |
U.S. President Donald Trump today announced the closure of the U.S.-Canada border to non-essential travelers as the coronavirus epidemic intensified in both countries but said that trade would not be impacted.

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Topics: U.S.    CANADA    BORDER    DEFENSE   

The shutdown built on Trump’s barring of visitors from most of Europe, China and other parts of the world, as the number of confirmed virus cases in the U.S. surged past 6,500, with 115 deaths.

“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!” Trump tweeted.

President Trump announced today he will invoke the Defense Production Act, which would allow the administration to force American industry to manufacture medical supplies that are in short supply in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

Hospitals, health workers and state and local officials have said they are quickly running out of personal protective equipment (PPE), like masks, gowns and gloves, that are crucial to keeping doctors and nurses on the frontlines of the pandemic safe.

“There’s never been an instance like this where no matter what you have it’s not enough,” Trump said at a White House briefing with reporters.

“If we need to use it, we’ll be using it at full speed ahead.”

Hospitals are also sounding the alarm on the lack of ventilators, or breathing machines, that are expected to be in high demand as the coronavirus spreads in the coming weeks and months.

Democrats in Congress, hearing about shortages of supplies from hospitals in their states and districts, have urged Trump to invoke the DPA to direct the domestic production of necessary medical equipment.

“This would ensure we have the materials we need at the ready, rather than wait for disruptions in the global supply chain to subside,” 57 House Democrats wrote in a letter to Trump last week.

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