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Key U.S.–Mexico Trade Route Reopens

The Bridge of the Americas in South-Central El Paso, Texas—one of the largest land ports for U.S.–Mexico trade—restarted commercial operations on a limited schedule yesterday, according to a notice from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

  • It’s a development that the NAM advocated, having engaged in continued talks with the Biden administration and relevant agencies since cargo movement was suspended last month.  

What’s going on: The port of entry reopened at 6:00 a.m. Tuesday and closed at 2:00 p.m., a schedule it will keep temporarily each week Monday through Friday.

  • In recent weeks, large numbers of migrants have crossed the Texas–Mexico border, and the CBP stopped commercial movement along the Bridge of the Americas so federal customs agents could assist with the influx.

Why it’s important: “The temporary bridge closure and the Texas Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) enhanced safety truck inspections at El Paso’s two other truck ports of entry have drastically slowed cargo truck crossings in recent weeks between El Paso and Juárez, Mexico,” according to the El Paso Times on MSN.

  • Last week, the value of goods in thousands of trucks backed up on the Mexican side of the border “had surpassed $1.5 billion,” according to a source cited by Reuters (subscription).
  • Prior to the temporary closure, the bridge had been processing approximately 500 northbound trucks a day, according to the El Paso Times.

The NAM says: “Mexico is the largest trading partner of the U.S. and facilitating trade between the two countries is vital to manufacturers’ operations,” said NAM Director of Trade Facilitation Policy Ali Aafedt. “The NAM will continue to share the impacts of the disruption with the federal government and urge solutions to resolve the continuing backlog.” 

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