Mexico-US Border Closure Hurts BusinessesBy Sofía Hanna | Fri, 08/20/2021 - 11:20
The partial closure of the Mexico-US border, applied to prevent further infections of the Delta variant of COVID-19, has affected cities, towns, businesses, workers and medical users in both countries, reports Arizona State University (ASU). While the decision does not apply to cross-border trade, it could have severe, long-term repercussions for border economies.
The closure of the world’s busiest border is a significant hurdle for this binational community that shares economic, cultural and social activities, according to ASU “17 Months Closed: The Social and Economic Effects for the US-Mexico Border.” The closure, as previously reported by MBN, was taken by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) considering the circumstances regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. Later on, the closure was extended well into 2021. “The US is extending restrictions on non-essential travel at our land and ferry crossings with Canada and Mexico through August 21, while ensuring the continued flow of essential trade and travel.” Due to the volatility of the pandemic, the opening day may continue being postponed.
The partial closure has put the economic and social activities of the population along the border in an almost critical state. According to the Director of the School of Transborder Studies at Arizona State University, Irasema Coronado, traditional businesses located on the US side of the border have suffered great losses and commented that “many of these businesses have closed because his clients were people from Mexico who came to buy… This lack of income for cities affects the services they can provide in cities.” Coronado emphasized the importance of the flow of Mexican consumers for the economic reactivation of the region. “Giving money to businesses at the border is part of the solution, but it is not a comprehensive solution because long-term consumers are needed for businesses to be sustainable.” Those north of the border might also face medical implications due to the continued closures, as many traveled to Mexico for health services. “Many people from the US used to go to doctors, pharmacies and other medical services in Mexico, now they no longer do so, and this can harm their health,” says Coronado.
Mexico, for its part, has implemented strategies such as a cross-border vaccination campaign for local workers alongside the Texan cities of Laredo, Brownsville, Austin, Houston and El Paso, as reported by MBN. For example, Nuevo Leon’s elected Governor announced a campaign to vaccinate 25,000 workers between the ages of 25-39.