Mexico urges Texas to stop border truck inspections amid costly delays
The Mexican Economy Department said it will file a complaint with the Trade Facilitation Committee overseeing the United States-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) free trade agreement in the coming days
May 16, 2023 9:08am
Updated: May 16, 2023 9:08am
Mexico’s government on Monday urged the state of Texas to stop the cargo inspections of commercial trucks crossing the border after the move caused significant supply chain delays and millions in losses for companies.
Additionally, the Mexican Economy Department said it will file a complaint with the Trade Facilitation Committee overseeing the United States-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) free trade agreement in the coming days. The USMCA requires member countries to facilitate quick customs and border inspections.
On May 8, Texas announced that it would resume inspecting all commercial vehicles that crossed the U.S.-Mexico border through the Veterans International Bridge at Los Tomates, which connects Matamoros, Mexico with Brownsville, Texas.
According to DPS spokeswoman Maria Montalvo, Abbott ordered the inspections after a tractor-trailer carrying “hazardous flammable material” was traveling at unsafe speeds and crashed into a concrete barrier, causing an explosion.
“They’re checking everything from the cargo to the undercarriage to the driver. They’re pretty much following federal regulations,” she said.
The cargo inspections, which can take between 8 to 27 hours, have impacted the supply chains and have cost millions of dollars in losses for both U.S. and Mexican companies, particularly those dealing with perishable foods, Mexico’s economy ministry said in a statement.
“In the end, U.S. consumers will be the ones who pay the price for these policies,” the department said.
The inspections “will continue for an undetermined amount of time,” said Ericka Miller, a Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) spokesperson, at the time.
Texas Governor Gregg Abbott has required similar inspections of cargo in the past, most recently in April 2022. The inspections were halted after Abbott reached an agreement with four neighboring Mexican states to alleviate the costly backups.
Abbott has claimed that the inspections are meant to prevent the smuggling of undocumented migrants and illegal drugs into the state.