NPR Story
1:26 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

New Mexico's Relationship With Mexico Is Booming

New Mexico’s relationship with its neighbor to the south has been, to say the least, fruitful. Here’s a telling figure from the Albuquerque Journal:

The value of New Mexico exports to its southern neighbor grew 33 percent last year — from $464.5 million in 2011 to a record $617.6 million in 2012.

This growth is part of wave the state’s been riding since 2009. The total income of export sales from Mexico are up 61 percent over the past four years.

Furthermore, two ports of entry have recorded record numbers in commercial traffic over the past two years. Via, the Associated Press:

The New Mexico Border Authority announce this week that last year the Santa Teresa Port of Entry processed more than 81,000 commercial trucks — 13 percent higher than any year on record.

The Columbus Port of Entry has also seen a sharp increase in commercial traffic. In 2012, there was over all increase of 18 percent more traffic crossings than any prior year.

One of the most significant drivers of this growth is New Mexico’s focus on expanding business to the south. It’s a trend that’s popping up across the border, from San Diego to Tucson.

A crucial pillar of immigration reform is the border. As of now, the conversation hinges on security. But as border cities expand their relationships to the south, one theme is emerging — efficiency.

Border crossers are faced with long wait times stemming from problems with infrastructure and increased security. The maximization of business between the two countries is dependent on a more open border.

But finding the line between efficiency and security is a messy web leaders across the border are still seeking to untangle.

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