After almost a week of the key trade routes between Texas and New Mexico being closed, the U.S. has reopened the two rail crossings.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced that it reopened the Eagle Pass and El Paso rail crossings into Mexico at 2:00 p.m. EST.
The closures prompted responses from railroads, the agriculture industry, and lawmakers concerned about the impact on export trade.
The two rail crossings along the Texas border towns were closed on December 18 by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection as part of an effort to prevent migrants from entering the country illegally.
On Thursday, several agricultural groups sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas calling for him to reopen the rail crossings quickly.
“We are aware of grain trains sitting at origin in at least six states that are unable to move, and we expect this number to grow,” the letter said. “We have also heard of customers in Mexico telling U.S. suppliers they will begin to look to other countries if the U.S. cannot provide a resilient and reliable supply chain.”
Twenty-five percent of U.S. corn exports and a percentage of other grain and agricultural exports into Mexico go through El Paso and Eagle Pass. Agricultural producers estimated that every day the crossing was closed, nearly 1 million bushels of grain exports were potentially lost, as well as potential for other agricultural products.
Mexico was the U.S.’s second-largest trading partner in 2022. The country relies heavily on America’s grains to feed livestock.
During the closure, Reuters reports that U.S. Border Patrol apprehended about 10,800 migrants on Monday.
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