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Study shows Texas could lose billions if border delays cut more into trade economy


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An economic consulting firm in Waco, Texas, is projecting some serious losses for the state due to delays at the border.

The Perryman Group released a study showing how much Texas stands to lose if one-third of border trade is lost in three months due to the delays.

Its study shows Texas could lose $32 billion statewide and lose more than 292,000 jobs. The border region in Texas could stand to lose $2 billion and more than 24,000 jobs.

Some business owners told CBS4 they considered these projections to be a worst-case scenario for Texas.

Bernie Sargent, who runs The Border Group, represents manufacturing companies in the United States, Mexico, Canada and in Far East Asia.

He said the delays haven’t impacted his business and the companies he represents at this time.

"Our business has been skyrocketing. We've been beating forecast month after month,” Sargent said.

Sargent said the delays could impact Far East Asia companies and border trade.

“So, what the Chinese are doing, the Vietnamese and all the folks in the forest are doing is they’re producing product directly in Mexico,” Sargent said.

“The more that we delay, the more impact we put negatively on what comes across the border, the more apt the people are move things over directly into Mexico, circumventing the United States.”

Sargent said one industry could feel the impacts of the border delays more than others.

"Most often retail, because they do depend on what comes across the border,” Sargent said.

One business already feeling the impacts of the border delays is Silva Super Market, run by Martin Silva.

"Since the first of the year, our business is down about 15%,” Silva said.

Silva said he also considers these projections by the Perryman Group to be a worst-case scenario. He said the projections might be a little too high.

"I could see that happening, especially if President (Donald) Trump or the administration were to close the bridges completely,” Silva said.

“But, I think until they get more inspectors on the bridge and get the traffic going, it'll impact several million dollars."

Sylva said he's looking further down the road than that three-month estimate by the Perryman Group.

He told us the holidays will be one of the bigger indications of how the delays impact his business.

Sargent said all businesses must approach the delays and these estimates with cautious optimism.

"It does say that if we have a three-month slowdown, it will negatively impact us,” Sargent said.

“But at the same time, another report they put out says that we are breaking records."

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