Chirstmas has been distracting as the American government shutdown went into its fifth day, but as public employees go back to work, the repercussions are sure to become more and more apparent as the week comes to and end.
Canadians may not feel any effects of the shutdown in the U.S. just yet, but as the shutdown continues, its impact will spread. And unfortunately for all of us, Trump seems to be determined to keep the government closed into the New Year.
TL;DR Even while some government employees are still at work, they aren't getting paid, so delayed service should be expected alongside closures. Imports and exports may be stalled.
Have the Democrats finally realized that we desperately need Border Security and a Wall on the Southern Border. Need to stop Drugs, Human Trafficking,Gang Members & Criminals from coming into our Country. Do the Dems realize that most of the people not getting paid are Democrats?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 27, 2018
Trump made comments yesterday to the Associated Press that made it clear he has every intention of keeping the government closed, even if it means starting 2019 in a shutdown.
Trump's stubborn determination to prolong the shutdown until he gets what he wants will continue to cause a ripple effect throughout the country (and beyond) until a compromise or solution is found.
For Canadians, that means a couple things. As the States' biggest trade partner, we're sure to see some repercussions.
Let me get this straight: Trump wants the federal court to postpone indefinitely hearing a case claiming that he is illegally profiting from his Washington hotel, because the government shutdown, created by Trump, prohibits his attorneys from working.https://t.co/VuZejVDCoP— Robert Reich (@RBReich) December 27, 2018
The shutdown arose because Trump and the Democrats ended up in a stalemate and couldn't agree on a budget for border security. The decision to shutdown the government means halting funding to certain, "non-essential" departments of the government.
800,000 federal employees are at home over the holidays wondering if they’ll receive their next pay check because @realDonaldTrump shut down the government. Mexico wouldn’t pay for his wall and neither will American taxpayers, so he has decided to throw a tantrum. #TrumpShutdown— David E. Price (@RepDavidEPrice) December 22, 2018
The United States Customs and Border Protection (USCBP) agency is considered an essential government service, so there shouldn't be much change crossing at the border. But certain departments within the USCBP that deal with international mail may see closures. This means there may be delivery delays.
According to ABC, the program that evaluates whether a traveller is cleared to work in the United States will also be closed. This may result in permit application delays.
Moreover, while some departments are seen as essential, USCBP employees are still not getting paid. This means there is the potential for staff to be frustrated, and understandably so. They have to come to work without pay, so they may find it in their best interest to do their job slowly so as to pressure the government to come to a solution.
Canadians can also expect minor (at least for now) food shortages. Again, anything that is coming from the states that requires assessment by the USDA may face delay. The Food and Drug Administration is considered non-essential so many of its departments are completely shut down.
These shortages can range from food-related items, like paper cups, to imported veggies, like avocados or bananas.
Trump campaign fundraising off of the shutdown pic.twitter.com/QmSXkEAeo6— Sam Stein (@samstein) December 27, 2018
It is likely that restaurants and other Canadian business that rely heavily on import and export from the States will see the biggest repercussions during this shutdown.
Of course, it goes without saying that national parks, museums, and tourist sites will be closed at this time. Certainly considered the most "non-essential," employees of these institutions are told to not even come in to work.
This means any Canadians who have vacations planned will have to consider that their itinerary may be impacted.
Transportation is another department that is considered non-essential so getting around may become difficult in the coming weeks.
#ShutdownStories My wife and I both work at NASA as contractors so now have 100% loss of family income without a CR? Have a son at GMU who will be having tuition due in 4 weeks? Thanks to all our gov't representation for doing their job?— John Deal (@Dealsac1983) December 25, 2018
While this shouldn't impact public transit within city centers, it could have an impact in isolated incidents on travel via vehicles that are up for inspection.
The entire list of government agencies facing some closures are the departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Justice, State, Transportation, Treasury, NASA, and the Food and Drug Administration.