Comprehensive United States – Mexico Border Study
The U.S. Department of Commerce asked HDR to assess the economic impacts of delays experienced by commercial trucks at the United States – Mexico border. The assessment was performed at the state and national levels on the U.S. side of the border, based on wait time data collected from the field for the top five land ports of entry: Otay Mesa, Calif.; Nogales, Ariz.; El Paso, Texas; Laredo, Texas; and Hidalgo, Texas. Data on truck volumes were extracted from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics' TransBorder Freight Database. Sensitivity to border delays was measured with survey data and compared to secondary data from the literature for validation purposes. The economic multipliers, used to estimate the indirect and induced impacts of border wait times on the U.S. economy, were obtained from the IMPLAN economic impact modeling system.
It was found that the United States loses about $1.87 billion in net annual revenue from freight activity, because of delays experienced by trucks at the border. This translates to about 4,900 jobs lost (or a $320 million labor income loss). When accounting for the indirect and induced effects of the net revenue loss, the total impact amounts to a $5.79 billion loss in business output and 26 thousand jobs lost. The annual economic impacts of wait times will more than double by 2017 if delays grow as projected and if infrastructure and operations remain the same. In addition, HDR measured the beneficial impact that various solutions to border delays proposed by Accenture would have on trade and, by extension, on the national economy. The analysis resulted in the recommendation of a set of solutions at each port of entry that would yield maximum results and return on investment.