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Texas politics put another crimp in the supply chain

Gov. Greg Abbott is making inbound trucks from Mexico stop for second inspections, prompting some drivers to give up.
Photograph: Shutterstock

Another kink has been put in the supply chain by Texas’ newly adopted policy of stopping and inspecting trucks as they cross into the state from Mexico, according to the White House.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott instituted the state inspections last week, saying more safeguards were needed to stem a flow of drugs, undocumented immigrants and contraband into the U.S.

The conservative Republican maintains that the precautions will be particularly important after the federal government ends what’s called Title 42, a provision of the immigration code that allows border agents to turn away immigrants before they can file for asylum.  The measure was put into effect by President Trump as part of his aggressive effort to halt the flow of undocumented foreigners into the U.S.

The Biden administration intends to drop that limitation on entry as of May 23.

Abbott has predicted that lifting Title 42 will create a security crisis for his state. To keep undocumented asylum seekers from setting foot on Texas soil, the governor has aired plans to bus the immigrants directly from the Mexican border to Washington, D.C.

“While securing the border is the federal government’s responsibility, Texas will not sit idly by as this crisis grows,” Abbott said in a statement posted on his website. “Texas is responding with the most robust and comprehensive border plan the nation has ever seen.”

Trucks of all sorts, including big rigs hauling food into the U.S., are covered by Abbott’s directive.

Screenings of incoming vehicles is already done by U.S. Customs and Border Protections (CBP), the federal agency charged with policing the nation’s boarders and points of entry.

The addition of a state inspection has added at least five hours to a routine border crossing, throttling incoming commercial traffic by as much as 60%, according to the White House.

That crimp in the flow of goods is further driving up inflation, spokesperson Jen Psaki said in a statement issued Wednesday.

“Governor Abbott’s unnecessary and redundant inspections of trucks transiting ports of entry between Texas and Mexico are causing significant disruptions to the food and automobile supply chains, delaying manufacturing, impacting jobs, and raising prices for families in Texas and across the country,” Psaki said. “The continuous flow of legitimate trade and travel and CBP’s ability to do its job should not be obstructed.”

According to local media reports, Mexican truckers have protested the dead time added to their routes by the added inspections by blocking some roads.

Inflation has been raging at a more furious rate than the restaurant industry has seen in 40 years.



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