EL PASO, Texas - The slowdown at our border bridges has made crossing a pain for people wanting to travel to El paso, but companies are also being hit and extraordinary wait times are having global consequences.
As the border slowdown crawls past the one month mark international companies shipping products across North America are struggling with wait times.
Borderplex Alliance CEO Jon Barela spoke to the House Homeland Security Committee to ask for relief at the bridges and help trade be fluid once again.
Things can get worse if this continues, and companies are already having to make some pretty drastic changes because of the slowdown.
“What we are hearing are some very disturbing incidents of companies having to furlough, or layoff temporarily their employees,” Barela told ABC-7 Friday.
One locally based medical manufacturing firm has their offices in El Paso and Juarez. The slowdown has been so bad they had to shutter production lines in New jersey because material wasn’t making it there on time, costing them money. Now they actually beefed up a plant in Eastern Europe, it’s easier to meet production deadlines and saves money.
“Again, this has an impact on of course our local and regional economy, but it will also have a very very adverse effect on our national economy and key industries,” Barela said.
Layoffs in New Jersey means less demand for supply chain jobs in El Paso, like truck drivers. The money those local drivers would normally make and spend won’t be fed into local stores and restaurants. Having a more fluid international economy Barela said will benefit everyone.
“Trade is not a zero-sum game. As I’ve said many times before a job created in Cd Juarez ought to be a job created in the United States,” Barela told Congress.