Apr 14, 2022 - News

Gov. Abbott walks back border inspections

A closed bridge at the Texas border

Barriers block the entrance to the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge. Photo: Michael Gonzalez/Getty Images

Gov. Greg Abbott announced Wednesday that he will end the inspection mandate at the Laredo border crossing to Nuevo León after Nuevo León Gov. Samuel García agreed to bolster border security in Mexico.

Why it matters: Mexico is the U.S.'s biggest source of agricultural imports, and the U.S. relies on an intricate, but relatively speedy inspection system at the southern border to get goods through.

The U.S. imported nearly $34 billion worth of agricultural products in 2020, according to government data.

Details: ​​U.S. Customs and Border Protection said that commercial traffic has dropped by as much as 60% since the governor's mandate.

  • It also called the additional searches unnecessary and said "they're leading to traffic disruptions and critical impacts to an already-strained supply chain."

The big picture: Cross-border trade is crucial as supply chain issues continue to impact Americans.

The other side: Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller called on Abbott to stop the inspections, saying the move was "political theater."

  • "It is stopping food from getting to grocery store shelves and in many cases causing food to rot in trucks — many of which are owned by Texas and other American companies," Miller wrote in an open letter to the governor this week.

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