Texas’s economy took a more than $4 billion hit in April after Governor Greg Abbott’s order to ramp up on security at the border resulted in shipping delays and bridge blockades, according to a new analysis.
The more than week-long slowdown of trucks entering Texas from Mexico, carrying everything from avocados to auto parts, shaved $4.23 billion off Texas’s gross domestic output, factoring in multiplier effects, according to Perryman Group, a Texas-based economics research body.
The chaos at the border all started in early April after Abbott directed state troopers to increase inspections of commercial vehicles crossing the border as part of a broader effort to crack down on illegal drug trafficking and immigration. The increased wait times at the border left shipments of produce rotting, while Mexican truckers blocked a key bridge in protest, causing drivers to find alternate routes.
“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,” Perryman Group said in a statement on Wednesday.
The governor eventually ended the vehicle inspections after coming to agreements with Mexican border state leaders who said they would be more vigilant on their side of the crossings. Abbott has made border security a top issue in the upcoming gubernatorial election in November.
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