Regional Economy Could Suffer 'Catastrophic Losses' if Trump Closes Border

The five-hour shutdown of the San Ysidro border crossing Sunday led to a large traffic backup and the closure of a nearby popular shopping center, impacting businesses and border-area merchants. 

San Ysidro shop owners alone lost an estimated $5.3 million in sales as a result of the temporary shutdown, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune

San Ysidro is the busiest border crossing in the Western Hemisphere and after President Trump's threats to completely close the border, merchants fear they could suffer great loss or be put out of business.  

About 70,000 vehicles and 25,000 pedestrians move between the two countries through the San Ysidro port of entry each day.

The local cross-border economy could be greatly affected if the border closes with nearly 600 export manufacturing plants and 50 contract manufacturing options within a 15-mile radius south of the San Ysidro Port of Entry experiencing a loss.

“Across the entire border, you have more than 1 million crossings a day, $1.6 billion in two-way trade every day,” said Duncan Wood, director of the Mexico Institute at the Washington D.C.-based Wilson Center. “So if you did see, as Trump threatened this morning that he would permanently shut the U.S.- Mexico border, you'd be looking at disastrous, catastrophic losses on both sides of the border.”

In an email to the Union-Tribune, San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer said he will urge "our leaders to work more collaboratively with Mexico to help resolve this issue as quickly and humanely as possible by providing increased border staffing and more resources to process those who are truly seeking asylum."

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Photo: Getty Images

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