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Home / News & Reviews / News Wire / Closure of US-Mexico border would hurt rail traffic NEWSWIRE

Closure of US-Mexico border would hurt rail traffic NEWSWIRE

By Bill Stephens | April 2, 2019

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President Donald Trump
The White House
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s threat to close the border with Mexico this week would quickly have an impact on railroads and wreak economic havoc on both sides of the Rio Grande.

Cross-border traffic represents about 11 percent of Union Pacific’s total volume and nearly 30 percent of volume at Kansas City Southern. BNSF Railway also serves five of the six major cross-border rail gateways.

“Kansas City Southern is monitoring the situation and is not aware of any action at this time involving rail operations over the border,” spokeswoman C. Doniele Carlson says.

UP declined to comment, citing the quiet period prior to release of its first quarter earnings. BNSF did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

Independent rail analyst Anthony B. Hatch says the impact of closing the border would be unthinkable.

“Closing the border is very bad,” he says. “Even discussing it hurts investment.”

Rail-hauled exports to Mexico include grain, auto parts, and petroleum products. Railroads carry finished vehicles, auto parts, appliances, food, and beer from Mexico to the U.S.

The border crossing at Laredo, Texas, is by far the busiest for railroads and truckers. Some 28 trains and 16,000 trucks cross the border there every day. Last year, Laredo captured 45 percent of U.S.-Mexico trade, according to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

“Closing the U.S.-Mexico border would inflict severe economic harm on American families, workers, farmers, and manufacturers across the United States,” says Neil Bradley, executive vice president and chief policy officer for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “U.S. trade with Mexico exceeds $1.7 billion daily, and nearly half a million people legally cross the southern border every day as workers, students, shoppers, and tourists. Even threatening to close the border to legitimate commerce and travel creates a degree of economic uncertainty that risks compromising the very gains in growth and productivity that policies of the Trump Administration have helped achieve.”

Automakers across North America have built their supply chains around the free flow of parts across the American, Mexican, and Canadian borders.

“You can’t sell cars with missing pieces,” Kristin Dziczek, a vice president at the Center for Automotive Research, told CNN. “You’ve got to have them all. I see the whole industry shutdown within a week of a border closing.”

Auto plant and part-supplier shutdowns would ripple across the economy and put a dent in rail traffic.

The president has proposed shutting down the border as early as this week as a way to curtail the number of migrants seeking to enter the country via Mexico.

12 thoughts on “Closure of US-Mexico border would hurt rail traffic NEWSWIRE

  1. Wouldn’t it be possible to close the border to humans only and still have commercial traffic keep flowing? It was my understanding that is what’s being considered.

  2. Someday, years from now; our children’s children’s children will look back on all this and wonder “what in hell were they thinking?”

  3. Curt hit the nail on the head, the person sitting in the office of the President of the United States has no clue how trade works or its impact on the economy.

  4. I feel for the American farmer.. He’s the one who is going to take most of the hit from all these trade sanctions

  5. Anna, part of your comment is unnecessary…we have all the agriculture needed to be self sufficient already, as for manufacturing, nice bit of sarcasm…or maybe the whole thing was sarcasm. Either way closing the border as well as cutting off aid to those 3 Central American countries is just plain stupid, and he calls himself an experienced and successful business man…I think not.

  6. If that’s what it takes to stop the national emergency, then so be it. The illegals must enter our country the right way, bye the way how many illegals come into this country bye train? When I worked in Laredo I did see illegals on trains and our broder agents did a good job getting them off, but now how do you control hundreds of illegals coming though and not all though the port of entry?
    We do not want the broder closed but what other chose does the President have if congress want act? Change the laws!

  7. So close the border already. Hermetically seal the sucker. And the northern border as well. No one (and nothing) gets in, no one (and nothing) gets out.

    Sure there will be shortages. This will only tell us what kinds of manufacturing and agriculture we need to have within our own borders to be self sufficient. After that is straightened out both Mexico and Canada can go hang.

    The above comments are general in nature and do not form the basis for an attorney/client relationship. They do not constitute legal advice. I am not your attorney. Find your own damn lawyer.

  8. Congress has had thirty-plus years to straighten out the border mess, ever since President Reagan signed the amnesty act back in the ’80s, and they’ve done nothing. Nothing.

    I consider this action on Mr. Trumps part (if it happens) and nothing more than a well-directed kick in the butt to get something done about the chaos on the southern border.

  9. Border closure threatens and the best impact the press can come up with is that the US would run out of avocados in 5 days. I don’t think Chipotle and Moes will go under for lack of guacamole.

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