The Canadian Tooling and Machining Association (CTMA), in partnership with the Canadian Association of Moldmakers, Automate Canada, and the Niagara Industrial Association, conducted a survey to measure the effects of border closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic within the manufacturing industry.
The results show that over two-thirds of manufacturers have lost business amounting to 10s of millions of dollars due to issues at the Canada/U.S. border. Eighty per cent of survey respondents revealed they require their U.S.-based customers or suppliers to visit their facility for project inspections, sign-offs or technical support or service.
“Manufacturing is essential. Manufacturers produce food, pharmaceutical goods and common products so important to our daily lives,” said Shelley Fellows, Chair, Automate Canada. “The tool and die, mould making and industrial automation sectors are vital pillars of support for manufacturing, as they provide equipment, software, services and tools to keep manufacturing running.”
The survey revealed that 65 per cent of respondents have experienced moderate to substantial effects on their businesses. Almost 75 per cent of companies reported they have or will have a negative financial impact specifically due to border crossing issues. Over a third of respondents reported that the magnitude is $1 million or more.
The associations recommend government officials provide a clearer definition of “essential workers” to help Canada Border Services Agency personnel better understand the guidelines.
“To be clear, our associations are not asking for the border to open, but rather a process to keep everyone safe and at the same time be able to continue to operate essential services,” Robert Cattle, Executive Director, CTMA.