Mexican businessmen predict losses due to Texas border inspections

Mexico City, Apr 12 (EFE).- About 10 business entities with a presence in northern Mexico on Tuesday complained that the safety inspections implemented by Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott are “disrupting” the flow of merchandise across the border and putting supply chains at risk, a situation that could cause “millions (of dollars) in losses.”

In a letter shared with media outlets and directed at Mexican and US “public opinion,” the businessmen addressed Abbott to warn that the “extraordinary inspections” that take several days are creating “extremely long” wait times that range from “six to 12 hours” before shipments can enter the US.

“The transport workers on both sides of the border are suffering the consequences in access to the international trade bridges,” the text adds.

The business chambers said they understand “the purpose” of these inspections but warned that they are “seriously” affecting the exchange of merchandise, putting the overall supply chain at risk and causing “millions in losses in international trade.”

They said that the crossing points “most affected” by the measures are the World Trade International Bridge in Nuevo Laredo, the Laredo-Colombia Solidarity International Bridge in Nuevo Leon and the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge.

In their missive directed to the Texas governor, the authors “respectfully” ask that the flow of commercial vehicles be facilitated and the inspections of goods and shipments be “accelerated” so as not to lengthen “crossing times.”

The letter noted that trade between the two nations is on the order of $1 million per minute and that Texas “represents more than 50 percent of that trade.”

The writers concluded their letter by saying that the two nations have similar goals and must find common solutions to their difficulties.

Entities such as the Mexican Business Council for Foreign Trade, Investment and Technology (Comce) in Laredo and Tamaulipas, Laredo Chamber of Commerce, Association of Customs Agents of Reynosa and the National Chamber of the Transformation Industry (Canacintra) in Matamoros signed the letter.

Last week, Abbott announced that all trade traffic between Mexico and Texas would be subjected to inspections by state officials after going through a federal inspection at the ports of entry.

The measures have caused wait times for trucks arriving at the border loaded with agricultural produce of as long as 30 hours in some cases.

On Monday, Mexican truckers blocked the Pharr international bridge in protest after some of them had to wait 16 hours to be inspected.

Texas Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, the vice chairman of the state senate’s Finance Committee, said that the Pharr bridge generally processes 3,000 trucks per day but since the inspections began last Thursday only about 300 trucks have managed to cross each day.

Among the measures taken last Wednesday in response to the decision by the Joe Biden administration to end the health regulation under Title 42 that allows the US to expel undocumented migrants due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Abbott – who is known for his ultraconservative stances – threatened to send detained immigrants to Washington DC in buses.

EFE mqb/cfa/bp

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