Brian Deese, the White House's director of the National Economic Council, talked with MSNBC on Thursday about the impact the protesting Canadian truck drivers are having on the United States as a few ports of entry along the northern border have been blockaded.
Deese explained what is being done to alleviate shipping delays since truckers recently blocked the Ambassador Bridge between Detroit, Michigan, and Windsor, Ontario, as protesters continue to advocate for an end to COVID-related mandates and restrictions.
"Well, we're incredibly focused on this issue. Customs and Border Patrol is in contact with their Canadian counterparts and here at the White House we are in contact with our Canadian counterparts as well. Look, as you said, and as the statements from the companies made clear, what this is doing is it's hurting families and communities across the United States and Canada," Deese said. "We rely on that bridge for 25 percent of moving commerce across — between our countries, and our manufacturing industry relies on input goods so that we can keep our factories moving and humming."
"I want to be very clear, there are strong feelings about this issue, legitimate peaceful protest is, of course, something that is always encouraged. But taking steps like this that do nothing but hurt the economy, hurt families who are, you know, just trying to make a living, and hurt our economy really make no sense," he continued. "So, we're going to keep working on this hour by hour. This is something that we have been on overnight and will be on over the course of the day, keep trying to find solutions here."
Deese's comments about it being weird to take measures that only hurt the economy in the context of COVID-19 are even weirder considering he is working at a White House that continues to advocate for restrictions. This is on top of the recent report from the U.S. Consumer Price Index (CPI) that showed inflation increased 7.5 percent from January 2021 to January 2022, the highest since 1982.