Some commercial truck traffic could be moving again at one border bridge as late this afternoon. On April 14, 2022, Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced an agreement with Nuevo León Governor Samuel Alejandro García Sepúlveda for heightened inspections on Mexico’s side of the border at the Columbia bridge and the lifting of increased security measures by the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Abbott said Texas officials are working with other Mexican border states to enter into similar agreements for increased scrutiny on vehicles leaving the Mexican side of the border – there are twelve other bridges connecting Mexico and the US in Texas. These agreements could relieve a standoff between the Biden administration and Texas regarding border security. Federal, state, and international decisions made in April nearly shut down border truck traffic from Mexico to Texas for almost a week, thereby greatly slowing the import of produce, finished goods and raw materials into the United States.
The chain of events leading to the near shutdown began when the Biden Administration announced April 1 it would, in late May, end Title 42. Title 42 is a Center for Disease Control public health policy that allowed the United States to expel migrants at the southern border in order to prevent the spread of COVID.
Concerned about the potential increase in illegal immigration and drug traffic into the state following the repeal of the Title 42 directive, Texas Governor Greg Abbott on April 6 directed DPS to conduct enhanced safety inspections of motor vehicles as they cross into Texas.
Abbott’s decision to call for enhanced inspections greatly slowed truck traffic into the state, and thus distribution across the entire United States. Meanwhile, as a protest against the long waits for trucks to cross the border, Mexican truckers began blocking some bridges on the Mexican side of the border to completely shut off traffic into Texas.
Frustration had been growing while businesses became concerned how they will get items from Mexico to stores, warehouses, factories, and consumers across the United States.
The HB Strategies Texas office in Austin has been monitoring the activities on the border on behalf of numerous clients and in contact with the state’s leadership and key trade associations about the events as they evolve.
Husch Blackwell’s International Trade and Supply Chain Practice continues to monitor developments affecting supply chain delays and will provide further updates if or when additional developments occur. Should you have any questions or concerns, please contact Carlos Rodriguez.