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U.S. and Mexico Must Address Security Crisis at Border Together to Mitigate Impact on Cross-Border Commerce, Business

In the past week, the Texas Association of Business (TAB) has joined private sector leaders and leading stakeholders on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border in urging the administrations of U.S. President Joe Biden and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) to work collaboratively in addressing the ongoing security crisis at the border. The ongoing unsustainable influx of migrants arriving between ports of entry has resulted in a cascade of negative impacts on the broader binational business community, undermining our collective efforts to strengthen the competitiveness of the North American economic bloc.


Last Wednesday, TAB joined the Border Trade Alliance (BTA) in leading a coalition letter of 29 signatories from the U.S. and Mexico imploring both administrations to take immediate action to solve the persistent security challenges we are experiencing along the border. In the letter, the organizations urge the Biden and AMLO administrations to:


  • Work together to stem the tide of undocumented migrants arriving at the border with dubious asylum claims and stopping all unlawful and dangerous crossings between ports of entry. 

  • Assure the trade community that port closures will not occur. Port closures are not just inconvenient – they put additional pressures on an already stretched North American supply chain and put upward pressure on consumer prices at a time of already high inflation.

  • Assure trade community stakeholders that staff to process legal trade and travel will not be redeployed to process asylum claims, most of which are likely to be without merit.


On Friday, TAB also joined the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and the Confederation of Industrial Chambers of Mexico (CONCAMIN) in sending a separate letter to both administrations, underscoring the impacts of the border crisis on the North American economy:


“Instead of creating de facto barriers to trade, our two countries should strive to enhance trading ties as the importance of nearshoring and friendshoring accelerates. Doing so will make our manufacturing, energy, and agricultural sectors more competitive globally. Thanks to the USMCA/T-MEC, our two countries are each other’s top trading partners and we have made North America among the most competitive trading blocs in the world.”


Our primary goal is to minimize disruptions in the vital supply chains between the United States and Mexico caused by the migrant crisis. Measures such as sudden, indefinite closures of ports of entry, an increase in vehicle inspections, and other bureaucratic hurdles have resulted in congestion, delays, and a myriad of other consequences for businesses and their employees in both nations.


It's important to emphasize that the current asylum system is broken beyond repair and clearly being gamed by the cartels for their great profit at great human expense. With undocumented migrants attempting to claim asylum between ports of entry – which should not be happening in the first place – resources across Texas’ 1,245 miles of border are being stretched beyond capacity and resulting in many interior cities such as New York, Denver and Chicago asking for federal reimbursements as their budgets are stretched thin. 


The need to address these mounting challenges cannot be overstated from Texas’ perspective, as we are the undisputed centerpiece of the North American economy, with more than two-thirds of all U.S.-Mexico trade passing across the Texas-Mexico border. Any delays or disruptions in legitimate cross-border trade has a disproportionate immediate impact on the Texas business community and has ripple effects throughout the broader U.S. and North American supply chains.


The USMCA is pivotal in enhancing regional trade competitiveness, and we must ensure that trade flows remain uninterrupted to maximize economic opportunities for North America as a whole. Furthermore, the recent emphasis on nearshoring and collaborative trade efforts necessitates fortifying our economic partnership with Mexico, our neighbor and number one trading partner. 


We appreciate Presidents Biden and López Obrador's recent discussions on migration issues and increasing border operational efficiency. However, the two administrations must do more to expedite legal trade and stem the tide of undocumented migrants overwhelming resources at the border. 


If the U.S. and Mexican administrations fail to act, the Texas, U.S., and broader North American economies are at risk of losing our competitive edge.




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