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US-Mexico Border Crossings

Feb. 10, 2017 Eighty-five percent of goods traded between the U.S. and Mexico are transported by truck or railway, according to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Two-way trade across the border totals $1.4 billion per day and takes place at 25 major ports of land entry between the U.S. and Mexico. Among these are 39 crossing points (high-volume locations such as Laredo, Brownsville and Nogales have multiple crossing points), of which 22 are open all day, every day. Border crossing delays can cost billions of dollars in trade. In 2011, Bloomberg estimated that delays at the U.S.-Mexico border cost the U.S. economy up to $7.8 billion annually.

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Mexico figures as a prominent destination for U.S. exports and ranks among the top three export destinations for 33 of the 50 U.S. states. However, Mexico ranks as the top export destination for only four states. It is no coincidence that these four states are along the U.S.-Mexico border. The geographic proximity of California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas to the Mexican border heavily impacts these states’ economies and demographics, and politicians’ stances as they relate to national politics.

These four state economies depend on trade with Mexico and account for a quarter of U.S. GDP. To read more about how California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas will pose the greatest challenges to the administration of President Donald Trump and its initiatives for increasing tariffs on Mexican goods, read Geopolitical Futures’ latest Deep Dive, “Exploring the US-Mexico Trade Relation Part 2.”