EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — Longer-than-average wait times and the subsequent supply chain disruptions are due to additional and “unnecessary inspections” being conducted by the Texas Department of Public Safety at the order of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said Tuesday.
CBP said the additional border truck inspection process is not necessary to protect the safety and security of Texas communities and is resulting in significant impacts to local supply chains that “will impact consumers and businesses nationally,” adding that local trade associations, officials, and businesses are requesting the Texas state government discontinue them.
CBP said the delays are unrelated to CBP screening activities.
Several ports of entry remained closed on Tuesday, including the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge in Pharr, Texas, and the Ysleta Port of Entry in El Paso, and even the Santa Teresa Port of Entry in New Mexico.
Mexican truck drivers created blockades to protest the inspections, prompting officials to close some Texas ports of entry.
The federal agency explained that CBP comprehensively inspects and clears all vehicles to enter the United States. However, DPS is inspecting the same vehicles once they exitthe federal inspection are, leading to traffic disruptions and “critical impacts to an already-strained supply chain.”
CBP said commercial traffic has dropped by as much as 60 percent at Texas border crossings, with truck drivers facing wait times exceeding five hours at some border crossings.
“Every day, at ports of entry, the employees of U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Office of Field Operations (OFO) are at work for the American people ensuring the efficient flow of lawful trade and travel that is so vital to a strong economy, while enforcing hundreds of different laws for multiple federal, state, and local agencies,” CBP said in a statement. “The ports of entry along our Southwest border allow for the continuous flow of legitimate trade and travel, which is critical to our nation’s economic stability and vibrancy, but they also are the frontline of defense against threats posed by transnational criminal organizations (TCOs). Our efforts ensure shipments of perishable goods, like fruits, vegetables and meat products destined to grocery stores, medical supplies and medicines reach doctor’s offices and hospitals and manufacturing supplies reach plants to keep them open. The movement of these goods are vital not only to communities along the border but across the United States as these goods are used across every business sector and industry in the U.S. The strength of the American economy relies heavily on the efficient flow of cross-border commerce.”