The governor of Texas announces a deal with the state of Mexico to relieve truck traffic congestion

Texas will halt increased inspections of trucks arriving from Mexico after reaching a deal with the last of Mexico’s four neighboring states, Gov. Greg Abbott said Friday, a move expected to ease costly, lengthy backups over the past week.

The deal calls on the Mexican state of Tamaulipas — located on the easternmost part of the Texas-Mexico border — to step up security efforts against illegal immigration and drug smuggling, Abbott and Tamaulipas Gov. Francisco Garcia Cabeza de Vaca said during a news conference in Weslaco, Texas, near the US-Mexico border.

Last week, Abbott, a Republican who is running for re-election in November, ordered state agencies to conduct “enhanced security inspections” of vehicles driving from Mexico to Texas to detect people smuggling and contraband.

The increased inspections, which Abbott said were needed because of President Joe Biden’s inability to secure the border, slowed truck traffic and sparked protests by Mexican truckers in their country, who shut down several trade crossroads in Texas and New Mexico.

The traffic jams caused millions of dollars in losses and put pressure on business groups including the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas, an alliance of more than 100 companies involved in importing and distributing Mexican produce in the United States.

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, a fellow Republican, on Tuesday urged Abbott to end the extra truck stops, saying they were “quickly becoming $2.00 lemons, $5.00 avocados and worse.” to lead”.

On Wednesday, the White House slammed the inspections, saying they were unnecessary and had disrupted food and auto supply chains and pushed up prices. Biden, a Democrat, is already struggling with rising inflation and challenges to the movement of goods arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Abbott has also chartered buses to bring migrants from Texas to Washington to send a message to Biden, with the third bus arriving Friday, according to the governor’s office and news reports.

Beto O’Rourke, a Democrat who challenged Abbott in the Nov. 8 election and a former US congressman, criticized Abbott in tweets and videos throughout the week, calling the governor’s actions a “political stunt” that caused havoc at the border sows.

Texas authorities have declined to say whether the increased inspections have uncovered any smuggling attempts. As of Thursday, the state’s Department of Public Safety had disabled more than 1,400 vehicles for safety violations such as defective brakes, tires and lights, the agency said.

Abbott has reached similar deals with the governors of Mexico’s three other states that border Texas — Nuevo Leon, Chihuahua and Coahuila — amid pressure from business groups in recent days. The governor of Texas announces a deal with the state of Mexico to relieve truck traffic congestion

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