Concern and uncertainty plague New Mexico’s economic development community as it grapples with President Donald Trump’s nebulous plans to build a border wall, withdrawal from the Trans Pacific Partnership and his argumentative tone when dealing with Mexico — the state’s largest trading partner and neighbor to the south.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2015, the last full year for which data is available, New Mexico exported $3.781 billion in goods. Of that, $1.683 billion went to Mexico, making that country the state’s largest recipient of exports. In turn, the state imported $2.249 billion in goods during the same period, with $635 million coming from Mexico, second only to Chinese imports of $789 million. Those numbers are expected to be even greater when the 2016 figures are tallied.
The construction of a wall would hamper the cross-border partnerships, if not in the form of physical difficulty in crossing, definitely in sending a message to foreign companies that the border is, at least symbolically, closed for business, Pacheco said.
New Mexico’s legislative delegation, with the exception of Rep. Steve Pearce, have opposed the border wall. Pearce said he supports securing the border and that Trump is keeping a campaign promise to the American people.