Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Mexico protests Texas’ resumption of truck border inspections

The Economy Ministry (SE) has urged the government of Texas to cease inspections of cargo at the Matamoros-Brownsville border crossing, asserting that the measure is causing large financial losses for both Mexican and United States companies.

In a statement issued Monday, the SE expressed “serious concerns” about inspections of northbound freight trucks and urged their removal. It said that the inspections began on May 8, three days before the expiration of the United States pandemic-era Title 42 migration expulsion policy.

Colorful but worn tents in front of the Rio Grande, with a highway overpass in the background.
Inspections by the state of Texas reportedly began on May 8, shortly before Title 42 COVID-19 immigration restrictions were lifted, as large numbers of migrants congregated at border crossings in Mexico. (Cuartoscuro.com)

The ministry said that the federal government would file a complaint with the Trade Facilitation Committee established by Mexico, the United States and Canada when they entered into the free-trade pact known as USMCA in 2020.

The SE said that the objective of the inspections at the Matamoros-Brownsville crossing was to combat the smuggling of migrants, but asserted that “sub-national governments” don’t have the authority to take action against that crime.

The “actions” implemented by the Texas government “are motivated by an anti-Mexican vision that is far removed from the social, cultural and economic integration between Mexico and Texas,” it said.

“Suffice to say, our country is the main trade partner of that state, and this relationship is worth an average of US $231 billion a year.”

A car passes through a scanner along the U.S. border.
Vehicles entering Mexico are usually subject to scrutiny — such as this car in 2022 — but recent, more stringent security checks of cargo trucks, which sometimes carry illegal migrants over the border, have caused severe delays at the Brownsville crossing. (Josh Denmark/U.S. CBP)

The SE said that Texas’ inspections are causing delays of eight to 27 hours for northbound freight trucks, a wait that “mainly affects perishable products.”

The inspections are causing losses in the millions of dollars for both Mexican and U.S. companies, the ministry said.

“It is United States consumers who pay the price of these policies; … It’s in everyone’s interests to reestablish normality at the border,” the SE said.

The Economy Ministry said it has “initiated constructive dialogue with the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to find a solution to a problem that, we recognize, is caused by a sub-national authority.”

The SE, the statement added, expressed its concerns in a May 12 call with the USTR and “emphasized that these obstacles to trade are incompatible with the existing market access agreements between Mexico and the United States.”

“In coming days, the government of Mexico will submit the case to the USMCA Trade Facilitation Committee,” the ministry said.

A stringent inspection policy for commercial vehicles enacted last year by the Texas government to detect drugs and migrants trying to enter the U.S. illegally also caused long delays at the border and heavy financial losses.

That policy came to an end eight days after it was implemented in April 2022 thanks to agreements that governors of Mexican border states reached with Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who accuses the United States government and President Joe Biden of failing to secure the border with Mexico.

Mexico News Daily 

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