For the fourth time in two months, President Donald Trump has threatened "to close the southern border entirely" if Democrats don't approve funding for the border wall. Legally, it would be difficult for the President to unilaterally close the border — and such a move would certainly spark lawsuits.
"He cannot legally do it ... We know that because of federal statutes." But because Trump has repeated the threat, experts are starting to weigh in on what closing the border would look like from an economic standpoint.
"Shutting down the southern border would cost up to a billion dollars a day.
Is the President seriously willing to do that?" "Yes." Without citing evidence, Trump says closing the border would actually be a "profit making operation." He reasons that it would halt imports of Mexican auto parts, forcing automakers to bring manufacturing jobs back to the U.S. However, economists say stopping the large flow of goods and people who cross the southern border every day would greatly hurt the U.S. economy. Nearly a half million people enter the U.S. every day through that border.
And more than $500 billion in goods went across the border in both directions last year, according to CBS News .
That makes Mexico the third largest trading partner for goods, behind Canada and China. Disrupting trade between the U.S. and Mexico would most likely result in price surges for all imported goods. The director of the Wilson Center's Mexico Institute told CNN : "At a time like this when already the stock markets are reeling because of trade talks with China, when a lot of people are talking about the U.S. economy going into recession, do you really want to do something that that's going to send shivers throughout the economy?" "It's the only way we can get the Democrats' attention." Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney says the President's threats, for now, are meant to pressure Democrats to agree to a wall-funding deal that would reopen the government.