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Trucker protests expand at U.S.-Mexico border over lengthy wait times -Breaking


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO : Truckers coming from the United States wait close to their trailers as protestors block the Zaragoza Ysleta International bridge connecting Ciudad Juarez with El Paso (Texas) against truck infiltration

Ted Hesson, Lizbeth Diaz

MEXICO CITY (Reuters] -Mexican truck driver protested a Texas governor’s order to raise safety inspections. The move has slowed traffic, and led to business groups warning about supply chain disruptions.

Mexico’s government stated in a statement that it rejects the Texas inspections. It estimated that 2/3 of all normal trade was being held back and costing both U.S. businesses and Mexicans significant revenue.

These slowdowns were initiated by Abbott, a Republican who ordered last week that authorities conduct vehicle safety inspections in entry points to detect smuggling.

Raymundo Galicia from Mexico, who was protesting the Santa Teresa Bridge linking San Jeronimo (Chihuahua) and Santa Teresa (New Mexico), said, “Yesterday, it took me 17 hour to cross into America and return.”

This bridge is third to be blocked by drivers who are unhappy with their salaries since last week’s long wait.

According to photos provided to Reuters, traffic at a fourth bridge linking Reynosa and Pharr in Texas was also halted Tuesday morning by drivers who parked trucks and started barbecuing on Mexico’s side of the port-of-entry.

Galicia explained that regardless of how long it takes to cross, I get paid the exact same amount, so this affects us a lot. He also noted that his coworkers and he would aim for more bridges in case there were delays.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), stated that long delays were caused by “additional and necessary inspections” made by Abbott and had “critical impacts on an already-strained supply system.”

Industries groups are furious at these new measures. They have already warned about shortages of perishable items over the Easter holiday weekend.

U.S. Representative Veronica Escobar (Democrat whose District includes El Paso) tweeted that “this plan is… exacerbating [our already disrupted Supply Chain] and will cripple an economic which relies so heavily upon cross-border trade.”

Mexico’s National Chamber of Freight Transportation claimed that the Pharr bridge delays alone had caused $8 million in economic losses per day. It called upon Abbott to revoke the order and prevent “collapse” in cross-border international trade.