An interesting question was posed during last week’s International Fresh Produce Association virtual town hall on supply chain disruptions.
Are there any government solutions to this crisis?
It appears not.
Governments have done a less-than-desirable job in educating, communicating, and forging regulations.
The latest misstep is the imposition of vaccine mandates imposed by the Canadian and U.S. governments on workers and truckers entering the two countries.
Last week, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security confirmed that U.S. Customs and Border Protection would begin enforcing a vaccine requirement for entry into the U.S. for essential workers. This includes guest workers for agriculture (but not illegal border crossings).
Requiring workers and truckers to be vaccinated to deliver needed products is bad policy. The consequences will lead to further supply disruptions and higher prices.
One simply cannot take government leaders seriously when they impose regulations that disrupt commerce between two friendly countries and keep willing workers out of the labor force.
This isn’t a column about the effectiveness, legality or morality of COVID-19 vaccines or mandates—rather, it is about common sense.
The science and data have changed many times since the start of the pandemic nearly two years ago, so I believe people have the right to change their minds on the best way to combat a deadly virus.
But the U.S. used to believe in, practice, and support free market capitalism. That has not been the case the past two years and is certainly not the case now.
We are seeing the consequences of such decisions, and businesses and citizens are feeling the pain. And we’re feeling it much more than those making the decisions.