Earlier today, President Trump further clarified his position on closing the border.
In response to questions from reporters at an unrelated event (the Opportunity and Revitalization Council Meeting), President Trump said that he has two issues with Mexico: (1) failing to stop migrants transiting Mexico to the United States; and (2) failing to stop the flow of illegal drugs to the United States. He said that he intends to put Mexico on notice and give it some time to address both issues – one year. If these issues are not addressed within the year, then President Trump said that he would impose additional duties on automobiles imported into the United States from Mexico (he indicated that he may also impose tariffs on other products, but that cars are “the whole ballgame”). If tariffs do not work, then he will close the border. President Trump said that he views these issues (i.e., stopping the flow of people and drugs from Mexico to the United States) to be more important than passage of the USMCA.
So, it appears that the threat to close the border is (most likely) off the table for the time being. That said, the Department of Homeland Security is still re-assigning CBP agents to help deal with the increase in the number of migrants seeking to enter the United States (750 so far, but could be up to 2,000 agents). Since there are fewer agents to handle cargo clearance, it is leading to increasing delays at many of the land border crossings. We expect this trend to continue, and likely to get worse, in the short term.
We hope that this is helpful. If you have any questions about this situation, or what you can do (or should be doing) to cope, please let us know.