Post-pandemic trade is booming in the El Paso-Juarez corridor

Increase in manufacturing jobs south of the border in line with increase in commercial activity in El Paso, Santa Teresa’s ports of entry

EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – Post-pandemic trade is booming in the El Paso-Juarez Corridor, reflected in increased trade activity at the region’s border crossings.

According to the Hunt Institute for Global Competitiveness at the University of New Mexico, total trade from Jan. 1 to Sept. 30 in ports of entry in El Paso is up 17.5 percent and in Santa Teresa, New Mexico, is down 23.2 percent to a similar period in 2021, Texas at El Paso.

“Trade via the top 10 major ports of entry between the US and Mexico increased in the first three quarters of 2022 [….] Ports of entry in the Paso del Norte region remained in the top five positions for total trade during this period,” reported the institute in its monthly Paso Del Norte Economic Indicator Review.

About 300 US-run factories in Juarez, known as maquiladoraswhich manufacture components for the automotive, electronics and medical industries in North America and Europe are largely responsible for regional trading activities, say industry experts.

Graphic courtesy of UTEP Hunt Institute for Global Competitiveness

The Hunt report states that increased activity in the service sectors this year is driving year-over-year job growth in El Paso and Las Cruces, New Mexico. But in Juarez, it’s manufacturing that’s driving growth.

Juarez saw gains across all sectors: 13,800 new manufacturing jobs; 3,200 in construction and mining; 2,600 service jobs; 1,500 in transportation and utilities; and 1,000 commercially, the report said.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials said in late October they were aware of the post-pandemic trade boom and are making sure the flow of goods flows across the border as quickly as national security will allow.

“We are an integral part of the US economy and the flow; We need to ensure trade keeps flowing and making a positive contribution to the US domestic product, I think more so now than before the pandemic,” said Ray Provencio, Ports Director of El Paso. “We need to make sure the supply chain isn’t compromised and make sure people get what they need, where it’s going – and make sure it’s safe too. National security is a primary responsibility of the Office of Field Operations.”

The Hunt report also touched on inflation in the region, where the price of bananas rose 119.3 percent and whole grain bread nearly 60 percent as of September 30.