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Ambassador Bridge company ad urges Trump to block new Gordie Howe bridge on ‘America first’ grounds


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June 22, 2018 by David Kennedy

The 88-year-old suspension bridge is a vital trade link between the U.S. and Canada, but the new Gordie Howe bridge is seen as a threat to its dominance. PHOTO: Starley Shelton/Flickr

WINDSOR, Ont.—In a transparent appeal to the increasingly pervasive “America first” rhetoric emerging from Washington, the company that controls the Ambassador Bridge between Detroit, Mich. and Windsor, Ont. released a television ad earlier this week calling on President Donald Trump to step in and halt construction on the Gordie Howe International Bridge.

The 60-second spot—which is addressed to Trump himself—pits the nearly shovel-ready Gordie Howe project against the proposed twinning of the 88-year-old Ambassador Bridge.

“One is American-made, American-owned, it uses American-made steel, 5,000 American workers,” the narrator says. “The other would be Canadian-made, Canadian-owned, Canadian workers. Who knows who would make the steel…”

The commercial, which was paid for by the Detroit International Bridge Company—itself controlled by the Moroun family—goes on to attack a permit issued by former President Barack Obama and calls on Trump to revoke it.

According to local media, the ad is scheduled to appear on Fox & Friends, a morning show Trump is known to watch.

The Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority (WDBA) fired back at a number of claims made in the ad, noting that the bridge project will employ workers from both sides of the border, use steel manufactured in North America and be owned by both the governments of Canada and Michigan.

The Windsor Star cited numerous sources that described the ad as “spin,” while CBC sources said it contained numerous inaccuracies.

The Moroun family and the bridge company it controls have been unsuccessfully battling the erection of the Gordie Howe bridge in court virtually since the outset of the project.

Nevertheless, the ad emerges at a tense moment for both the new Gordie Howe bridge and Canada-U.S. relations. The crown corporation responsible for building the new bridge is expected to reveal the winning construction consortium shortly, while Trump has repeatedly sparred with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in recent weeks over tariffs and other trade issues.


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