LOWELL, N.C. — Protests erupting along the U.S. and Canada border over vaccine mandates are disrupting the flow of car parts and other products between the countries.
What You Need To Know
Ontario has declared a state of emergency with truckers blocking roads and bridges into and out of the country
The Ambassador Bridge carries 25% of all trade between the U.S. and Canada
The Biden administration urged the Canadian government to use its federal powers to stop the blockade on the bridge
Ontario has declared a state of emergency with truckers blocking roads and bridges into and out of the country.
Truckers blocking the roads are holding up supply chains that are already struggling to keep up with demand.
Augusto Carillo-Perris has been fixing cars for most of his life.
“I always had a passion for cars,” Carillo-Perris said.
Carillo-Perris and his family own Speed Street Collision Center in Lowell.
“I guess that’s the American dream right?” Carillo-Perris said. “Everybody wants to open their own business and see if they can thrive.”
Luckily, business is booming with 20% more cars coming through his shop this year than last year.
But it’s taking a while to get his customers back on the road. Worldwide layoffs and supply chain issues are hurting the manufacturing industry and taking auto parts even longer to get to North Carolina collision centers.
“It gets hard for us because we’ve got to stop on the car that we’re working on,” Carillo-Perris said. “And then wait for the parts and bring it in again, but it’s even worse for the customer.”
Carillo-Perris says in some cases they’re waiting six months on one part.
“They tell us it’s going to be three weeks from now,” Carillo-Perris said. “And then in three weeks it changes, and it’s going to be another two weeks.”
His son, Assael Mendoza-Santos, the shop’s parts manager, says they’re finally starting to catch up.
But the protests in Canada are forcing some auto plants to halt production.
“It could delay more 'cause even some manufacturing plants have two-week back-up plans if things like that happen,” Carillo-Perris said. “But beyond that, you could start seeing layoffs, and with layoffs are more back-ordered parts.”
Carillo-Perris strikes an optimistic tone, but he admits if the shortage gets worse it could have a big impact on small business owners, like himself.
“We don’t get paid until we’re done with a car,” Carillo-Perris said. “If we have to go ahead and wait for months … we don’t know really until we get there.”
The Ambassador Bridge in Ontario carries 25% of all trade between the U.S. and Canada.
The Biden administration is urging the Canadian government to use its federal powers to stop the blockade on the bridge.