Business groups warn Trump that shutting border will cost millions of U.S. jobs

April 2, 2019

As President Trump threatens to close the southern border, business groups are warning about the economic harm of such a move.

The National Association of Manufacturers said Tuesday that U.S. farmers, manufacturers and other businesses will lose $726 million per day for every day the border is closed.

The group also said 1 million U.S. manufacturing jobs “would be immediately at risk” from shutting off cross-border commerce, and another 3.3 million jobs related to exports would be endangered.

“Congress absolutely must tackle comprehensive immigration reform immediately to address the real national security and humanitarian concerns that are a direct result of our current broken system,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce said closing the border “would inflict severe economic harm on American families, workers, farmers, and manufacturers across the United States.”

“U.S. trade with Mexico exceeds $1.7 billion daily, and nearly half a million people legally cross the southern border every day as workers, students, shoppers, and tourists,” said Neil Bradley, the chamber’s executive vice president and chief policy officer. “Even threatening to close the border to legitimate commerce and travel creates a degree of economic uncertainty that risks compromising the very gains in growth and productivity that policies of the Trump administration have helped achieve.”

Asked about the potential economic impact, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Tuesday that closing the border is “not our first choice,” but said the president’s top priority is to protect lives.

“Democrats are leaving us absolutely no choice at this point,” Mrs. Sanders said. “It may be that it’s the best decision that we close the border.”