Businesses to lose $726M a day if border closes, manufacturers association says

Businesses, including manufacturers and farmers, would lose $726 million a day if President TrumpDonald John TrumpA better VA, with mental health services, is essential for America's veterans Pelosi, Nadler tangle on impeachment, contempt vote Trump arrives in Japan to kick off 4-day state visit MORE moves to temporarily close the U.S.–Mexico border, according to an economic study released Tuesday.

Chad Moutray, chief economist at the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), said Tuesday that more than 21,000 manufacturing companies in the U.S. export to Mexico. He noted that just under 1 million American manufacturing jobs are related directly to exports to Mexico.

“The NAM has been to the border to witness the situation firsthand,” President and CEO Jay Timmons said in a statement. “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.”

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The U.S. exported $265 billion of goods across the southern border to Mexico in 2018.

Trump last week threatened to close the U.S.–Mexico border as soon as this week, blaming Democrats for weak immigration laws and saying the Mexican government was not doing enough to prevent illegal crossings. 

“Mexico is going to have to do something, otherwise I’m closing the border. I’ll just close the border," Trump told reporters regarding illegal crossings.

NAM has released a plan to address immigration, which includes strengthening border security with walls and other measures, in addition to prioritizing America’s workforce needs by fixing visas and temporary worker programs, providing a permanent solution for populations facing uncertainty and fixing asylum and refugee programs.

NAM is calling on Congress to end the division and to uphold “values that make this nation of immigrants exceptional: free enterprise, competitiveness, individual liberty and equal opportunity,” Timmons wrote of the plan.