EL PASO — Local businesses in El Paso, Texas, are already seeing the effects of truck congestion and border delays, despite Donald Trump walking back his threats to close the U.S.-Mexican border. Trump instead, gave Mexico a "one-year warning" to deal with what he has described as a "crisis" of illegal immigration and drugs.
Jaime Mejia, an El Paso warehouse worker for customs broker F.C. Felhaber, told Supply Chain Dive only about one-fifth of the typical number of trucks that traverse the border are able to cross from Mexico to the U.S., leading to significantly less product in the facility where he works.
"This is due to congestion caused by the reassignment of Customs and Border Protection staff on the border. If the retailers don't receive the merchandise, the warehouse workers are not paid. So all of these are cuts," Mejia said, "Not personnel cuts, but cuts in our hours — it affects us a lot."
Mexico is the United States' third largest trading partner, so any slowdown in cross-border traffic is bound to have an impact on businesses near and far. And Trump's one-year grace period for a border closure doesn't eliminate congestion problems at the border as a result of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) staff reassignments.