AUSTIN, TEXAS- Truckers in Mexico continue to block checkpoints on the Texas border after Gov. Greg Abbott directed Texas Department of Public Safety to perform additional inspections on trucks entering the United States.
In the last few days, the initiative has led to extended, multi-hour delays which the US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) labeled as “additional and unnecessary” in a recent statement.
CBP also added that, “local trade associations, officials, and businesses are requesting the Texas state government discontinue their additional border truck inspection process because it 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.”
Abbott previously stated that the reasons for the inspection was to curb human trafficking and drugs crossing the border.
Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller asked to stop the additional inspections on April 12 and called it a catastrophic policy.
“You cannot solve a border crisis by creating another crisis at the border,” Miller said.
As the border blockade continued, industry leaders observed the pork and beef trade between the United States and Mexico.
The US Meat Export Federation is continuing to monitor the situation on April 13. Travis Arp, assistant vice president of export services, provided some insight into the current situation.
Arp said of the four major border crossings between Texas and Mexico, only the one in Laredo, Texas, is actively moving.
Arp explained that almost all the beef and pork product driven to Mexico is chilled, meaning there could be shelf-life issues if the protest continues for too long. He added that both are primarily chilled, but the bigger impact is on pork because of the much larger volume and the fact that pork has a shorter shelf life than beef.
“If it gets to the Mexican border, and it goes through inspection, and it’s off condition, the plants that produce that product are going to have potential consequences with the Mexican government on how they handle that whether they reject the product, or we’ve seen cases of where plants will get suspended when for export, they have off condition product,” Arp said. “So that’s really one of the big concerns is just getting that product across the border in a timely manner.”
Availability of containers and trucks was another concern that Arp brought up if the trade border is not open, especially since containers are in short supply in the United States already.
Arp added that 2022 monthly volumes for US pork exports are at 80,000 tonnes per month to Mexico during 2022 and 15,000 tonnes per month for beef.