Trucks delivering goods from Mexico to the United States are facing up to 12 hours of gridlock, drivers said, after a transfer of U.S. border agents to immigration duties slowed the flow of commercial traffic at several border crossings.
President Donald Trump took a step back on Tuesday from his threat to close the U.S. southern border to fight illegal immigration, amid pressure from companies worried that a shutdown would inflict chaos on supply chains and the $1.7 billion daily trade.
But the reshuffling of border agents, announced last week to process the record number of migrant families entering the United States from Mexico, prompted delays of up to 12 hours for trucks crossing from Mexico’s Ciudad Juarez to El Paso, Texas, truckers told Reuters.
“Industry is most affected by this situation, due to the millions in fines they have to pay when deliveries arrive late to clients,” said Manuel Sotelo, head of the truckers union in Ciudad Juarez. He said the delays could even lead to the cancellation of contracts and layoffs.