DETROIT – The owners of the Ambassador Bridge are asking for help from President Trump in their fight to stop the government of Canada from building a new bridge across the Detroit River.
That's according to a new report from Bloomberg that explains there is a possibility of Canada's Gordie Howe International Bridge being built by a Chinese company "for the Canadian government, under an exemption from Buy American rules, and over complaints from a U.S. company."
"The Morouns have been appealing to Trump’s Buy American instincts, asking him to intervene. Matthew Moroun -- who took over his family’s transport company from his father, the combative, publicity-averse Matty Moroun -- wants Trump to rescind a key waiver granted by Barack Obama in 2012 that exempted the Canadian bridge from having to use only U.S. steel," Bloomberg reports.
In September 2017, the Morouns got a permit from the Canadian government to begin working on a replacement for the Ambassador Bridge. That made way for a privately funded span with the new Ambassador Bridge and a publicly funded one with the Gordie Howe Bridge. The Morouns said the proposed $500 million project wouldn't cost a dime for taxpayers. The bridge would consist of six lanes stretching more than 2,000 feet long.
Transport Canada said the Windsor-Detroit gateway is the busiest commercial land border crossing between Canada and the United States.
"The Government of Canada recognizes the importance of ensuring the continued flow of trade and travelers between Windsor and Detroit, one of the most important Canada-United States border crossings," Marc Garneau, the Canadian minister of transport, said at the time. "The construction of the replacement Ambassador Bridge together with the Gordie Howe International Bridge project will ensure that Canadians continue to benefit from the efficient movement of people and goods at this crossing while providing infrastructure improvements for the local community."
In 2012, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder struck a deal with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in which Canada would pay for Michigan's portion of the bridge. Canada would then recoup the costs from bridge tolls.
The bridge was named Gordie Howe International Crossing during a ceremony in 2015. Before then, the bridge was being referred to as the New International Trade Crossing.