Texas border disruption cost state and nation billions of dollars, report says

April 22, 2022

Tyson Fisher

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A recent analysis of the Texas border disruption reveals the state lost billions of dollars in just over one week, with the United States’ gross domestic product losing billions of more dollars.

According to a report published by Waco, Texas-based economic research and analysis firm Perryman Group, additional truck inspections at the Texas border cost the state more than $470 million each day, totaling a state GDP loss of more than $4 billion.

On April 6, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott directed the Texas Department of Public Safety to conduct enhanced safety inspections of vehicles as they crossed international ports of entry into Texas. Abbott’s order was in response to President Joe Biden’s decision to let Title 42 expire. Title 42 prevents most asylum seekers from applying for protection at the U.S. border with Mexico.

Abbott’s order was met with fierce criticism from a variety stakeholders, including the trucking industry and federal agencies. Opponents warned Abbot that the economy was losing an extraordinary amount of money as a direct cause of the inspections. Consequently, Abbott reversed his inspection mandate on April 15. However, the damage was already done and cannot be undone.

According to Perryman Group, the national economy also suffered from the Texas border congestion caused by Abbott’s order.

U.S. GDP dropped nearly $1 billion each day of the nine-day order, costing the nation nearly $9 billion. Additionally, it is unlikely the country will recover those losses.

“Given the strained capacity at the border in normal times, it will be difficult and, in many instances, impossible to ‘catch up,’” the report states.

Perryman Group estimates the Texas border disruption cost the country more than 77,000 job-years. One job-year is equivalent to one year of work for one person. For Texas alone, the increased inspections cost the state more than 36,000 job-years.

Manufacturing took the biggest hit, losing more than $3 billion in national GDP and nearly $2 billion in Texas GDP. The manufacturing industry lost nearly $2 billion in personal income nationwide, nearly $1 billion of which was lost in Texas. Accounting for all industries, more than $5 billion in personal income was lost in the U.S. More than half of that in Texas alone.

“Mexico is a top trading partner not only for Texas, but also for the United States,” the report states. “Inefficiencies in the flow of imports and exports across the border leads to notable economic losses. While border security is certainly an issue that must be addressed, introducing artificial inefficiencies into an important, capacity constrained element of an already overly stressed national supply chain is a costly option.” LL

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Tyson Fisher joined Land Line Magazine in March 2014. An award-winning journalist and tireless researcher, his news reports, features and blogs bring depth to our editorial content, backed with solid detail. Tyson is a lifelong Kansas Citian.