By on April 10, 2019

Far away from most American cities, and unbeknownst to most consumers, a transportation bottleneck is stemming the flow of goods from Mexico to the United States.

Major border backups plagued Mexico-U.S. crossings this week, the result of threats made last week by President Donald Trump. While the president eventually backed off after suggesting the U.S. may resort to closing the border in order to stem the flow of migrants into the country, companies didn’t waste time shoehorning as much product into trucks as possible, eager to get their goods across the border.

This, coupled with a mass transfer of U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers from commercial to immigration duties, sent wait times soaring. For automakers (and avocado sellers), this could be a problem.

Speaking to Reuters on Monday, Manuel Sotelo, vice president at the Mexican National Chamber of Freight Transport’s north division, said it was highly unusual to see a half-week’s worth of tractor trailers lining up at the Ciudad Juarez crossing.

On some of those trucks? Auto parts.

“The situation in Ciudad Juarez is very serious because these auto parts go to plants in the United States and obviously they put at risk the operation in the United States,” said Eduardo Solis, president of the Mexican Auto Industry Association.

Wait times at the Ciudad Juarez-El Paso crossing approached 12 hours late last week, Bloomberg reported.

Amid the shutdown talk, many voiced fears that the U.S. auto industry could grind to halt within days if the U.S. were to sever its link to vital components. Air freight, a pricey workaround to ground transport, is already being put to use by some manufacturers.

“The auto sector — and the 10 million jobs it supports — relies upon the North American supply chain and-cross border commerce to remain globally competitive,” said the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers in a statement. “In some instances, auto parts make several border crossings before being integrated into a vehicle’s final assembly.”

At last report, no automakers have seen their operations impacted by the border bottlenecks, but it’s a different story for those who rely on Mexican produce exports.

[Image: General Motors]

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34 Comments on “Border Backups Follow Trump’s Closure Threat...”


  • avatar
    labelnerd

    Our Dear Leader seems not to be capable to understand the power of his own tweets. Would someone please take away his phone, or take him away altogether!! Hmmmm…….threaten to close the border and guess what happens = more people and goods try to get through before it closes. Wow, this really takes a genius to figure out.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    A simple solution to border uncertainty: make the parts and cars in the USA.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Damn it, not avocados.

    To heck with Mexican Beer but I have developed a taste for Topo Chico.

  • avatar
    FerrariLaFerrariFace

    Is it just me, or does closing the border to stop illegal immigration seem like it would be about as effective as making gun laws to keep them out of criminal hands?

    • 0 avatar
      Chris Powers

      Historically and currently, walls work.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        So that Mongol invasion of China AFTER the Great Wall was built was just an illusion?

        Damned if I don’t owe a bunch of Ancient World History students an apology.

        • 0 avatar
          Menar Fromarz

          No, history was wrong. The Mogols built the wall with slave labour to keep cheap Chinese imports from flowing into their territory. They had just about enough “terracotta warriors” filling Mongol front lawns and it just had to stop.
          Pesky history revisionists!

        • 0 avatar
          Chris Powers

          And now China is full of Mongolians.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            https://www.chinahighlights.com/travelguide/china-history/the-yuan-dynasty.htm

            I can’t tell if Chris is sarcastic or angling for a job in Homeland Security.

        • 0 avatar
          Carrera

          Well Principal, it is hard to March in the desert with 30 foot ladders. Is it going to stop crossing cold? No, of course not, but we have to try. Just like cancer…chemo works or not, but you have to start it first. You can’t just say, “well, it won’t work, so why bother”?

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        “Walls work” for what?

        Do we really know all the ways migrants/drugs are getting into the country? Or just the failed attempts?

        • 0 avatar
          Chris Powers

          They work for Israel and Hungary among others. They “keep out illegal immigrants. They are less effective against armed invading forces.

          • 0 avatar
            Chris Powers

            If it came down to an openly armed invasion, the US could take Mexico in a fight, as long as the US doesn’t surrender outright due to European guilt.

          • 0 avatar
            Chris Powers

            If it came down to an openly armed invasion, the US could take Mexico in a fight, as long as the US doesn’t surrender outright due to European guilt.

          • 0 avatar
            Hydromatic

            Iraq proved the U.S. can knock around small armies with almost laughable ease, but chokes when faced with a long, sustained insurgency. It’s like no one’s learned from Vietnam (aside from ditching the draft in favor of an all-volunteer army — smart move).

      • 0 avatar
        FerrariLaFerrariFace

        Closing the border is not the same thing as building a wall.

      • 0 avatar
        Loser

        Historically and currently, tunnels work.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      No, he threatened to close the (legal) border unless Mexico officials “do more to stop the flow of migrants/drug…”, which is sorta stupid since the US can’t really make a dent.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Sure, we could make a big dent. Here’s how:
        1) Stop using drugs imported from Mexico.
        2) Fine the people who use illegal Mexican-sourced labor into oblivion, and if they persist, send them to jail.

        I’m thinking that solves about 79% of the problem. We could handle the remaining 2!% with what we already have in place at the border.

        Unfortunately, that stuff takes thought and planning, and it involves lightening someone’s wallet. That’s why none of that stuff has been done. Tweeting out “build the wall” 104 times a day is cheap and keeps the immigration single-issue cranks happy, which is all Trump needs.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          Yeah, but no way am I convinced US officials truly want to stop the flow of drugs or migrants from Mexico (or anywhere), at least at the federal level.

          Watch what they do (or don’t do), not what they say.

          Just the tidal wave of cash from private prisons and ag/industry/etc lobbys should tell us all we need to know, not to mention SS benefits, and tax refunds never claimed, but paid in.

        • 0 avatar
          MKizzy

          “Stop using drugs imported from Mexico.”

          The only way that happens if if Americans get their coke and weed fix more cheaply from elsewhere. From sniffing glue to the opioid crisis, we ‘Mericans love our drugs.

          “Fine the people who use illegal Mexican-sourced labor into oblivion, and if they persist, send them to jail.”

          Yep. most Illegals wouldn’t cross the border if there weren’t so many companies addicted to cheap labor willing to hire them.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            ICE, DHS, etc, agents are forced to look the other way, so The Horse & Pony Show goes on.

            They’re not all from Mexico, but employers are just going the cheapest route, as they should. The lobby system guarantees employers won’t get raided, fined or prison time.

        • 0 avatar
          sco

          @Freedmike

          Thank you! Obviously drug users are not very controllable but employers of illegal labor are. Impose fines etc for those employing illegals, then you will see the real costs/value of immigration. And THEN lets have a discussion like responsible adults about what immigration policy should look like.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            You have to play to play.

            Entire industries are immune from prosecution and “officials” are not concerned with the occasional use of a couple hired illegal aliens here or there, by small-time operations, home owners, property managers, subcontractors, etc. Why bother?

            All other employers know better. But this is the most important part of the whole migration circus. Or do you actually think illegal aliens would come to the US if they weren’t basically guaranteed a “job”?

            Is the weather really better than the place they came from? Maybe they don’t have a good Disneyland where they’re from?

            But once they have to bring their own money from home, or have some (a lot) sent up, the US can not seem like that good of a semi-permanent vacation destination?

            But what do I know?

        • 0 avatar
          schmitt trigger

          “….use illegal Mexican-sourced labor…”

          That was then. Nowadays, because of the economic improvements, Mexicans men looking for work are crossing in historically low numbers.

          Nowadays….The largest surge have been Hondurans, Salvadoran and Guatemalan women AND children,fleeing the appalling violence and extreme in their home countries.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    Those brake rotors look tiny.

  • avatar
    Fordson

    Interesting how nobody has made the obvious comparison here – that if your president threatens to close down the border, everyone who needs to get across the border…rushes the border. Just like the people wanting to immigrate here, legally or illegally, or get political sanctuary or asylum, start to hear, beginning in mid-2015 that candidate Trump wants to restrict those possibilities. And now since he’s been in office, saying all this stuff, we have a crush of those folks at the border. He frigging created it with his mouth. Those folks see a window of opportunity while the courts hold Trump at bay, and they figure this is their last chance to come to someplace (reasonably) stable.

    Remember in 2009, when that Kenyan Muslim socialist Obama was comin’ tuh take muh gunz? Firearm sales went through the roof! Of course, he wasn’t coming to take their guns, but let it go…

    Now since Trump has been in office, gunmakers domestic, European, some South American and MANY from Israel are in tough economic straits because of a sales slump.

    I mean, I think a reasonably intelligent herding dog gets this concept; why don’t more of us get it?

  • avatar
    ObviouslyCarGuru

    Boy, a whole bunch of you poor babies heads are gonna explode when country hating politicians are indicted and Trump is re-elected.


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