Migrant crisis at the border could nix Trump trade agreement, lawmakers say

Washington D.C. Bureau

WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEXSTAR) — Texas Democratic Congressman Henry Cuellar says the migrant crisis at the border could delay or even scuttle the United States-Mexico-Canada trade agreement.

Congress must approve the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement for it to take effect and replace the 35-year old North American Free Trade Agreement. 

Some lawmakers say the immigration issues at the border may delay any vote on the plan — leaving farmers and manufacturers in limbo.

Texas Democratic Congressman Henry Cuellar says hundreds of border patrol officers are being pulled away from the ports of entry to deal with the influx of migrants crossing into the U.S. from Mexico.

Cuellar says that means the ports of entry are understaffed and trucks are backed up for hours, slowing down the $1.7 billion dollars in trade that crosses the border every day.

Texas Republican Will Hurd agrees it’s an economic crisis and any disruption that slows down trade is devastating.

“If this continues too long, that is going to change supply chains,” said Hurd. “And once supply chains are changed, then that has a long term impact.”

Hurd says while Congress needs to tackle the immigration crisis at the border ASAP, he says that for the sake of the Texas economy, his colleagues must pass the USMCA now.

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