EL PASO, Texas (KFOX14/CBS4) — The economic future looks bright for the Borderland and a big reason why is our location on the border.
University of Texas at El Paso Economist Dr. Tom Fullerton told CBS4's John Purvis, "There's going to be continued investment in factory capacity all around Ciudad Juarez."
With a population of 1.5 million people, Juarez is seeing an economic boom thanks to one of the major consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. American companies want to move their manufacturing away from Asia and bring it much closer to home which has led to major growth in maquila plants across the Juarez area.
UTEP's Hunt Institute reports that Juarez gained 19,000 jobs last year compared to less than 6,000 in El Paso and 3,500 in Las Cruces and most of those jobs were in manufacturing.
Purvis asked Fullerton, "How much does El Paso benefit from that, when the maquilas go in in Juarez? Dr. Fullerton replied, "It's a symbiotic relationship. New manufacturing investment in northern Mexico always translates to new business opportunities on the north side of the boundary."
El Paso provides the warehouse space along with the customs and transportation infrastructure to move the products made in Mexico across the U.S.
"El Paso has a number of transportation connections that other regions don't have," Dr. Fullerton said. "And so, we're seeing the arrival of major warehousing efforts like Amazon or T.J. Maxx and you know, there's a lot of warehousing investment along those lines that's going on that's sort of under the radar screen."
The Hunt Institute also released data showing that the Santa Teresa Port of Entry last year joined El Paso among the five busiest ports for international trade along the U.S.-Mexico border and only Laredo, Texas handles more border trade than El Paso.
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