Closing the US-Mexico border could cost American businesses millions of dollars, according to Democratic Senator Kamala Harris and experts on cross-border trade. President Donald Trump has suggested in recent days that he could simply close the border.
“Closing the border to score political points is reckless and would cost American businesses along the border millions of dollars,” Harris said over the weekend.
Harris referenced a temporary border closure that took place during the most recent government shutdown, which was the longest in modern history.
“We know because it happened last year, and that five-hour closure cost California’s San Ysidro more than $5 million. This isn’t a game.”
“We’re talking about millions and millions of dollars completely lost if the border closes. And people won’t be able to get to work,” said Edgar Alaniz of the San Ysidro Chamber of Commerce, echoing Harris’ concerns.
US-Mexico trade relies on goods crossing the border at ports of entry. Trump’s plan to close the border would be hugely disruptive to trade and damaging to both US and Mexican business. Trump’s claim that closing the border would somehow save America money doesn’t add up.
Since the publishing of Attorney General William Barr’s letter on the Special Counsel’s report, Trump and the members of his administration apparently feel unleashed. The Trump administration has tried to crack down on immigration from Mexico, though closing the border would be a drastic step.
In addition to the economic impact, shutting the border were create logistical difficulties and cost the US government a large sum of money in enforcement. The move would also further damage US-Mexico relations, which have been poor since Trump took office.