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Truckers' shipping rates protest heard during Rose Garden event

The blaring of truck horns wafted into the Rose Garden, nearly drowning out some of the speakers Friday during a White House event about vaccines.

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump says the sound of truck horns honking just south of the White House is a “sign of love” for him from truckers. But the truckers are actually protesting over low shipping rates.

“They're protesting in favor of President Trump,” he said in the Rose Garden on Friday during an announcement about vaccine development. The blaring of truck horns wafted across the Ellipse and into the sun-splashed garden, nearly drowning out some of the speakers.

“Those are truckers that are with us all the way," he said.

But the drivers who have lined Constitution Avenue with their big rigs didn't come to Washington for Trump. They're in the nation's capital to protest low shipping rates that they say could force many of them out of business.

Later in the afternoon, horns could be heard again as the president began a recognition in the Rose Garden. 

"Those are friendly truckers, they're on our side. It's almost a celebration in a way," Trump said.  

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An initial flurry of freight shipments stemming from the coronavirus pandemic has subsided. As a result, many truckers have found themselves without freight to haul or with offers to deliver goods at rates they say are unsustainable.

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows visited the truckers on Thursday.

Credit: AP
President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the Rose Garden of the White House, Friday, May 15, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)