Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.
- Last week, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced second inspections of trucks crossing from Mexico.
- Abbott reversed course on the policy on Friday, but experts said it already caused supply chain issues.
- The delays led to fruit and vegetable producers losses of over $240 million, CNN reported.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s decision to ramp up inspections of commercial trucks at the border created a logjam of trucks that resulted in hundreds of millions of lost dollars from spoiled produce and shipping delays, CNN reported.
Dante L. Galeazzi, CEO, and president of the Texas International Produce Association, told CNN that about $9 billion worth of fresh produce crosses from Mexico into Texas each other, and that produce was “being used as bargaining chips,” last week.
Abbott’s office last week announced the policy which was described as an effort to tackle “cartel-facilitated smuggling.”
Mexican truck drivers protested the decision, blocking traffic into one of the busiest entry points into Texas, Insider previously reported.
The policy caused delays, extending trips that would usually only take a few hours to more than 30.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki called the move “unnecessary.”
“Governor Abbott’s unnecessary and redundant inspections of trucks transiting ports of entry between Texas and Mexico are causing significant disruptions to the food and automobile supply chains, delaying manufacturing, impacting jobs, and raising prices for families in Texas and across the country,” Psaki said in a statement Wednesday.
Abbott on Friday announced that the policy has ended and there would no longer be any secondary inspections of trucks crossing the border.
“As we are speaking this moment, all these bridges are opened back up to normal trafficking,” Abbott said during a news conference. “And so, all the goods that used to go from one country to the other at a very rapid pace, they are moving at that rapid pace as we speak right now.”
However, Galeazzi told CNN the policy already left some store shelves empty over the weekend, and it would take “a week or longer, up to probably three weeks, before the supply chain realigns.”
Lance Jungmeyer, president of the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas, told CNN that fruit and vegetable losses added up to over $240 million and that buyers across the country can expect rising prices as producers try to regain some of those losses.
“It’s a bad time to be adding this to consumers’ pockets to pay out their pocketbook,” Jungmeyer said.
Read the original article on Business Insider