EL PASO, Texas – The Texas Border Coalition (TBC) today condemned Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) inspections of all commercial vehicles crossing the U.S.-Mexico border via international bridges in Cameron County, calling them unnecessary, duplicative, and costly.
In a letter to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, El Paso County Commissioner and TBC Chairman David Stout said the beefed up safety inspections at Veterans and Los Indios International Bridges have resulted in massive wait times of 8 to 10 hours in some cases and threatens to harm those whose business depends on trade with Mexico.
“Trade with Mexico is one of the most important economic drivers for Texas, generating more than $650 billion in economic activity in 2021,” Stout said. “That is why any type of obstacle to trade is harmful for the state and the lives of the people in it.”
The Commissioner noted that the ever-growing trade relationship with Mexico must be met with efficiency to foster its growth.
“An international border that is more efficient but also safer is beneficial to Texas’ competitiveness and enhances the state’s overall economic vitality,” Stout said.
By some estimates, Texas lost more than $470 million a day in cross-border trade when DPS increased inspections of commercial vehicles at the border in April 2022. That equated to a loss of more than $4.2 billion in goods and services and the equivalent of 36,000 jobs.
According to Texas DPS’ own 2023 Motor Vehicle Stop Data Report, the Texas-Mexico border region is disproportional impacted by motor vehicle stops compared to other regions of the state. This alone impacts the flow of trade.
TBC suggests a better approach would be to work in partnership with U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents to assist in the inspections at the land ports.
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About the Texas Border Coalition (TBC)
The Texas Border Coalition (TBC) is a collective voice of border mayors, county judges, economic development commissions focused on issues that affect 2.8 million people along the Texas-Mexico border region and economically disadvantaged counties from El Paso to Brownsville. TBC is working closely with the state and federal government to educate, advocate, and secure funding for transportation, immigration and border security, workforce development, economic development and health care. For more information, visit the coalition website at www.texasbordercoalition.org. Follow TBC on Facebook and Twitter [#TXBorderCoalition] to keep up to date on all of the latest news about the coalition and its activities.