Border Trade Alliance opposes White House threat to close border

WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 29, 2018) – The Border Trade Alliance, North America’s premier advocate for cross-border trade, is strongly rejecting a call by President Trump to close the United States border with Mexico.

“The mere threat to close the border with Mexico is damaging to our economies, regardless if a closure were actually to happen,” BTA Chair Paola Avila said. “Two-way trade between our two countries has already exceeded $512 billion this year. Discussion of closing the border creates uncertainty in the border economy and puts at risk the commerce and travel that links the U.S. and Mexico and that is responsible for millions of jobs.”

Almost a half-million people enter the United States each day at various points of entry along the southern border. Shutting down the border could cost hundreds of millions of dollars each day.

The impasse over the federal budget and the resulting partial government shutdown comes just weeks before Congress is to begin negotiations over the implementation of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA, the successor agreement to the North American Free Trade Agreement.

“We urge the White House and Congress to work together to settle the impasse over federal spending and earnestly begin discussions over the implementation of the USMCA,” BTA President Britton Clarke said.

“Physical barriers have enhanced security in some sections of the border,” Clarke said. “But the idea that limited federal dollars should be diverted to the construction of a border wall is an imprudent use of resources. Instead, the administration and appropriators would be better served to craft a budget that meets Congress’ previous calls to hire additional Customs and Border Protection officers, and to enhance port infrastructure to levels necessary to process legitimate trade and travel, reduce congestion, and increase interdiction tools.”

Since 1986, the BTA has served as a grassroots, non-profit organization that provides a forum for discussion and advocacy on issues pertaining to border development and quality of life and trade in the Americas. A network of public and private sector representatives from the United States, Mexico and Canada, BTA’s core values include a commitment to improving the quality of life of border communities through trade and commerce. The BTA is online at thebta.org and @borderalliance.

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