DALLAS, TEXAS – Writers and designers with the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas have utilized the new edition of Southwest Economy to produce an infographic on the cost of longer wait times at the U.S.–Mexico border.

The designer of the infographic is Olumide Eseyin, a digital designer in the Communications and Outreach Department at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

Jesus Cañas
Jesus Cañas

The writers of the infographic are Chloe N. Smith, a research assistant in the Research Department at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, and Jesus Cañas, a senior business economist in the Research Department at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

The infographic is tilted: Go Figure: Assessing the Cost of Longer Border Wait Times.

In the infographic, the authors point out at the wait times spiked during the spring of 2019, when Customs & Border Protection resources were diverted away from border crossing points.

The authors also point out that longer wait times can lead to higher costs and lost sales, with perishable goods damaged and supply chains disrupted.

Longer wait times can also lead to disrupted economic activity, with declines in cross-border traffic and reduced tourism and business travel.

The authors explain why an uninterrupted flow of goods is important to the U.S. and Texas economies. They not that $228 billion in imports from Mexico passed into Texas through border land ports in 2018. Of these, 70-plus percent are intermediate goods that manufacturers depend on. And, no less than 40 percent of the content of manufactured imports originated in the United States.

The top imports from Mexico include:

  • Vehicles and vehicle parts: $68.2 billion
  • Machinery: $45.5 billion
  • Electrical equipment: $43.7 billion
  • Furniture and bedding: $9.6 billion
  • Medical equipment: $9.1 billion
  • Fruits and vegetables: $7.7 billion

No less than 22 percent of fruits and vegetables consumed in the United States are imported from Mexico. Indeed, most U.S. imports of avocados, tomatoes, lemons and limes – as well as papayas and strawberries – come from Mexico through Texas.


Editor’s Note: Click here to read the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas’ Southwest Economy newsletter.

Editor’s Note: The main image accompanying the above news story shows fresh produce imported from Mexico on display at the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge.