The Economic Cost of the US‑Mexico Border Slowdown

Published on May 03, 2019
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The current slowdown at the US-Mexico border is causing substantial economic harms. Trade volume has grown substantially, more than doubling over the past 20 years and up 55% between 2010 and 2018. During 2018, total trade volume between the United States and Mexico exceeded $611.5 billion, with $265.0 billion in US exports to Mexico and $346.5 billion in imports from Mexico. In fact, recent data for January and February of 2019 reveals that, for the first time, Mexico is the top US trading partner.

The ties between the United States and Mexico economies are strong, multifaceted, and important to both nations. When delays at the border threaten cross-border business relationships, the economy suffers.

Millions of trucks cross the border every year, and delays at the border cause logistical problems. The current slowing on the US-Mexico border is reducing efficiency and costing the US economy billions in output and hundreds of thousands of jobs.

The Perryman Group recently analyzed the total economic losses associated with the current border slowdown based on recent evidence regarding increased delays and structural issues. The study was commissioned by IBC Bank in support of the Texas Association of Business, Texas Border Coalition, Texas Business Leadership Council, and the Border Trade Alliance.

If these problems cause a one-third reduction in trade that extends over a three-month period, the cost to the US economy includes over $69.0 billion in gross product and 620,236 job-years (when multiplier effects are considered). Almost half of these losses occur in Texas.

Dr. Perryman noted that "Solving the problems which are causing border delays is in the interest of Americans and Mexicans alike. The slowdown negatively affects individuals, families, businesses, and communities."

For more details please refer to the full report.