Commercial traffic at a key U.S.-Mexico border crossing has reportedly ground to a halt after Mexican truckers blocked lanes to protest a new inspection policy from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.
The protests at the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge are raising concerns about a shortfall in produce deliveries from Mexico, including avocados, broccoli, peppers, strawberries and tomatoes, according to the Texas Tribune.
Truckers are protesting Mr. Abbott’s decision to impose state inspections on commercial vehicles that cross the border. The Republican governor says trucks can be used to smuggle humans and drugs.
He imposed the inspections in response to President Biden’s recent decision to lift Title 42 — a pandemic-related provision that allowed the U.S. to swiftly turn away people at the border — in late May.
Truckers say the new inspections take too long and are redundant.
The Border Trade Alliance, a nonprofit that represents public and private sector clients impacted by North American trade, said the U.S. Customs and Border Protection conducts its own inspections and the state rules could lead to an increase in consumer prices.
“We oppose any state-level action that results in an inspection process that duplicates the inspections already performed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, whose work at the land border ports of entry is informed by highly attuned risk assessment models, intelligence gathering, and a commitment to the agency’s dual mission of enforcement and facilitation,” the alliance said.
“While border states like Texas have an important role to play in ensuring truck safety and code compliance, the state should be working in collaboration with CBP, not engaging in a new inspection scheme that will slow the movement of freight, which will only exacerbate the country’s supply chain crisis and put even more upward pressure on consumer prices,” the alliance said.