Delays and bottlenecks at Texas/Mexico border after new inspection rules
New inspections and rules for the entry of commercial trucks into the U.S. from Mexico are causing long delays and industry associations warn this damages the trade of fresh produce across the shared border.
In a statement, the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas called on Texas State Governor Greg Abbott to reconsider their recently enacted “Texas Border Truck Inspection Enforcement Action”, warning that the inspections are carried out by the state Department of Public Safety “are repetitive, and so far are resulting in damage to millions of dollars of perishable fresh produce each day”.
The new rules were put in place last week, with authorities citing need for more stringent controls at the border to prevent illegal entries of migrants and the drug trade.
“We agree that safety and security are paramount, which is why the inspections of commercial trucks by U.S. Customs and Border Protection are considered to be the best in the world,” said FPAA President Lance Jungmeyer. “Texas has some of the most secure Commercial Ports of Entry anywhere along the U.S. border. Officers use sophisticated technology to see through the trailers and catch illicit cargo and prevent human smuggling.”
“For the sake of the many American families and especially those in Texas who are counting on healthful fresh fruits and vegetables for the Easter Holiday, and on behalf of Texas businesses who not only are employers but also keep the economy of the state going, we ask you to reconsider the state Department of Public Safety inspections of fresh produce trucks occurring in Texas ports of entry,” FPAA stated in a letter addressed to Texas Governor Greg Abbott.
Estimates from local news coverage are that the new inspections add at least four hours to transit times, and that the additional cost from this will end up being absorbed by local consumers.