“Laredo [Texas] is the United States’ largest inland port and processes between 10,000 and 12,000 trailers daily,” said Jose Gonzalez, president of customs broker J.D. Gonzalez and a NCBFAA board member in a statement Friday. “Many of the largest importers use the Port of Laredo, so closing the border would have a big impact, both nationally and locally.”
NCBFAA President Amy Magnus added, “The NCBFAA believes that completely closing the southern border would create unthinkable disruption and chaos and would solve nothing.”
President Trump threatened in a Dec. 28 tweet to use the option of closing the border with Mexico if he does not secure the funding to complete the construction of a wall between the two countries.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, two-way trade between the United States and Mexico exceeded $512 billion in 2018. This accounted for nearly 15 percent of the United States’ total trade last year, making Mexico the third-largest trading partner with the U.S., behind China and Canada.
Alone, the Port of Laredo, which claims about 100 U.S. customs brokers, 500 freight forwarders and 200 trucking companies, handled about $215 billion in imports and exports last year.
The NCBFAA said closing the border is avoidable and urged the White House and Congress to “work together to find a safe, effective and economically sound border security solution that does not resort to a full border shutdown.”