ATA exec says closing U.S.-Mexico border would cost trucking $18 million a day

American Trucking Associations Chief Economist and Senior Vice President of International Trade Policy and Border Crossing Operations Bob Costello said he hopes trucking would be excluded from a U.S.-Mexico border crossing shutdown. (Courtesy: AMERICAN TRUCKING ASSOCIATIONS)

ARLINGTON, Va. — Citing the magnitude of everyday trade between the U.S. and Mexico, Bob Costello, the chief economist and senior vice president of international trade policy and border crossing operations, said he hoped President Donald Trump did not close the U.S.-Mexico border, but if that does occur, hopefully trucks will be excluded.

“Every day, trucks haul more than $1.1 billion worth of goods to and from the U.S.-Mexico border. This takes more than 25,000 truck crossings, both ways, every day on our southern border,” he said. “Last year, just to haul freight to and from Mexico, the American trucking industry employed over 31,000 U.S. truck drivers (full-time equivalent) and nearly 47,000 total workers to support this truck-transported trade. This business generated $6.6 billion in revenue last year, and U.S. truck drivers were paid nearly $2 billion in wages to haul this freight.”

Costello said free, open and fair trade is incredibly important to the U.S. economy and especially to the trucking industry, and any serious disruption of economic activity between us and one of our closest trading partners would have serious impacts — up to $18 million a day in lost revenue — on trucking.

If the U.S.-Mexico border closes to commercial truck traffic for more than a couple of days, many U.S. factories will shut down, causing considerable economic pain, Costello said.

“Grocery stores will stop getting a significant amount of fruits and vegetables, while U.S. ag products heading to Mexico will pile up,” he said. “Within a week or less of a full closure, we could bring an economic recession into play. That is why ATA supports adoption of the USMCA and why we encourage all parties to do their part to keep our borders open for business.”



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