Closing the U.S.-Mexico Border

The U.S.-Mexico border is the most frequently crossed border in the world. Nearly half a million people legally cross the southern border every day as workers, students, tourists, and shoppers. “Closing the U.S.-Mexico border would inflict severe economic harm on American families, workers, farmers, and manufacturers, across the United States. U.S. trade with Mexico exceeds $1.7 billion daily, and nearly half a million people legally cross the southern border every day as workers, students, shoppers, and tourists” as Neil Bradley, the Chamber’s executive vice president and chief policy officer told/a> the press.

U.S. goods and services trade with Mexico reached $678 billion last year or $1.85 billion per day, U.S. Department of Commerce. An estimated $502 billion in goods — about $1.4 billion a day — crossed the border via trucks and trains last year. The San Diego customs district — which includes the San Ysidro Port of Entry — accounts for 12.1% of all U.S. imports from Mexico, including components for the aerospace industry and avocados.

The cost of a border closure to the economy, would likely be in the tens of billions of dollars per day — certainly much more than the $1.4 billion in daily U.S.-Mexico merchandise trade, according to the U.S. Chamber.

Autos and auto parts make up about one-quarter of U.S.-Mexico trade, so this industry is at the heart of these concerns. According to the Center for Automotive Research (CAR), every hour a U.S. auto plant is shutdown would cost about $1.2 million – $1.3 million.

Given that the auto assembly portion of the U.S. auto industry’s is only a fraction of the total industry, the ripple effect on the rest of the auto industry would be at least 4-times that of the assembly plants – or about $4 billion per day. All told, it adds up to at least $5.3 billion a day in additional costs to the entire U.S. auto industry. And that’s just one industry.

More information is available on US Chamber website.