DETROIT – The ever-busy Ambassador Bridge was empty Friday night, devoid of the truck traffic typically seen seven days a week, meaning trade in both directions costs less than $13 million an hour.
Protesters denouncing some of Canada’s COVID protocols have gathered in demonstrations across the country, including in Windsor, where traffic on the International Ambassador Bridge was halted for five days.
The trade disruption is creating a problem for automakers, which are already struggling with parts and chip shortages.
Michigan autoworkers lost about $51 million in wages this week due to the bridge blockade, and Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer sound the alarm.
“There are hard-working Michiganders who just want to show up for work, and they’re out of work right now,” Whitmer said. “This is having a huge impact, and we are urging the Canadian government to resolve this issue quickly and safely, because every minute this happens is incredibly damaging to the economy and to our people.”
President of the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce Sandy Barouah agrees with the governor.
“The supply chain is still incredibly fragile and has been exceptionally fragile for covidand that’s the last thing the US or Michigan economies need,” Baruah said.
Read: Factories temporarily closed as Ambassador Bridge blockade drags on
On Friday, Ford Motor Co. announced plant closures for next week due to chip shortages.
The Ohio Assembly Plant, where they manufacture the F-750-650 and Super Duty chassis, will be closed. The Ontario engine plant will also be closed as it supplies Ohio Assembly.
Kansas City Assembly, where they are building transit, will also be closed.
Some factories will remain open, but with fewer shifts and shifts.
The Kentucky Truck plant – where they make the F-250, Expedition and Navigator – and the Chicago Assembly plant – where they build the Explorer and Aviator SUVs – will only operate on two shifts.
Up to a shift, Dearborn Truck, where they build the F-150.
Related: Protesters defy court order to end Ambassador Bridge blockade
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