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Friday, October 07, 2022

Jen Psaki says ‘unnecessary’ Texas border inspections cause supply delays

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday that a new truck inspection policy implemented by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) is causing “significant disruption to the food and automobile supply chain,” over criticism of the new rules.

Abbott ordered Texas state police last week to begin inspecting commercial deliveries across the border from Mexico, despite federal inspections already in place. He and other prominent Republicans claim without evidence that the southern border is eroded by drugs and human traffickers, in what they call the “open border policies” of President Joe Biden.

But Abbott’s new policy is “unnecessary and redundant,” Saki said in her statement.

Long lines of commercial trucks have stalled at the border this week, some for half a day, leaving shipments of fresh fruit and vegetables on truck beds at a time of year when the US imports most of its produce from Mexico . According to local media, drivers are protesting against the rules by gearing up to impose blockades on international bridges.

Psaki said the new inspections are “delaying manufacturing, affecting jobs, and raising prices for families in Texas and across the country.”

“The constant flow of legitimate trade and travel and [Customs and Border Protection’s] His ability to do his job should not be hampered,” she said.

A bipartisan array of trade groups and state officials have rejected Abbott’s decision, including Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller.

Truckers on Tuesday blocked the entryway of commercial drivers entering the Santa Teresa Port of Entry heading into New Mexico near the Texas border.  Jerry Pacheco, executive director of the International Business Accelerator and president of the Border Industrial Association, said the protest has been misguided because New Mexico has nothing to do with Texas' inspection policies.
Truckers on Tuesday blocked the entryway of commercial drivers entering the Santa Teresa Port of Entry heading into New Mexico near the Texas border. Jerry Pacheco, executive director of the International Business Accelerator and president of the Border Industrial Association, said the protest has been misguided because New Mexico has nothing to do with Texas’ inspection policies.

Albuquerque Journal via Roberto E. Rosales / The Associated Press

In an open letter to Abbott, Miller called the governor’s “misguided policy” an example of “political theater” that would put untold pressure on already strained supply chains.

“Your inspection protocol is not preventing illegal immigration,” Miller wrote. “It is preventing food from going onto grocery store shelves and in many cases rotting food in trucks – many of which are owned by Texas and other US companies.”

Dante Galizzi, president of the Texas International Produce Association, told The New York Times that the situation on the southern border “is at a crisis level right now.”

“We are seeing delays that will be felt across the country,” John Esparza, president of the Texas Trucking Association, told The Washington Post.

“There are half a dozen divisions of trunking [affected], There’s the refrigerated segment of trucking, there’s items for household goods, forestry, fuel tankers, merchandise – it’s just about everything that comes from General Motors, Ford and Mexico, our business partner,” Esparza told the outlet.

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