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Texas governor strikes deal with two other Mexican executives over supply chain crisis he created

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This week, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) struck three deals with three different Mexican state governors to ease the tangled supply chains between the US and its southern neighbor – a crisis he sparked last week by ordering state police to to begin inspecting each truck crossing from Mexico to Texas. The move presented a steep hurdle for commercial truck drivers, who are already subject to federal inspections.

Abbott said Thursday that he has signed border security agreements with two Mexican governors: Chihuahua Gov. María Eugenia Campos Galván and Coahuila Gov. Miguel Ángel Riquelme Solís. He announced a similar deal with the Nuevo Leon management on Wednesday. (Only one other Mexican state, Tamaulipas, shares a significant portion of the border with Texas.)

However, critics have questioned the legality of Abbott’s actions, given that the US Constitution vests the power to shape foreign policy with the President.

Nuevo Leon, Chihuahua and Coahuila each agreed to increase security measures on their side of the border to “deter illegal immigration” and “improve traffic flow,” Abbott’s office said.

The agreements — officially “Memoranda of Understanding” — mean Abbott will allow inspections on the Texas side of the border to normalize. His stricter inspection policy had stalled trade, forcing trucks carrying fresh produce, car-making supplies, and other essential goods to wait on the streets for up to half a day.

Industry groups criticized the policy and truckers protested.

At a time when supply chains are already strained by pandemic-related disruptions, disrupting US-Mexico trade would hurt both countries. The CEO of the Texas International Produce Association told the Washington Post that if Abbott doesn’t back down, Texans will start seeing empty fruit shelves this weekend.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki joined the furor on Wednesday when she called Abbott’s increased inspections “unnecessary and superfluous.” The governor is causing “significant disruption to food and automotive supply chains,” Psaki said.

But Abbott has blamed President Joe Biden for his decision to interfere in international trade.

“If you want relief from the congested border, you have to call President Biden,” Abbot said at a news conference on Wednesday.

The Texas governor has been a harsh critic of the president on immigration—he joined his Republican peers in incorrectly labeling Biden’s policies as one of “open borders”—but he is particularly opposed to Biden’s decision to authorize Title 42 deportations break up.

At the beginning of the pandemic, the Trump administration began using an obscure health regulation known as Title 42 to turn away asylum seekers, ostensibly to prevent the spread of the virus. While the Biden administration made some policy changes, it allowed the Trump-era rule to remain mostly in place until recently. The White House now says it will lift the rule in May.

It’s a decision that has reportedly divided White House staffers, and critics include some in Biden’s own party. Beto O’Rourke, who is challenging Abbott over the governor’s mansion in November, said Biden should come up with a solid plan for dealing with the impending influx of migrants before repealing Title 42. The US-Mexico border had been growing steadily, which overwhelmed the US immigration system with each new wave of arrivals.

Abbott, however, has gone to extreme lengths to demonstrate his opposition to the removal of Title 42: His administration this week successfully bused a group of immigrants from Texas to Washington, DC, in a political signal.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/texas-abbott-mexico-supply-chain_n_6259c728e4b0be72bff6385e Texas governor strikes deal with two other Mexican executives over supply chain crisis he created

Mike Fahey

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