45% of Cross-Border Business Affected
Union Pacific, one of the largest railroad companies in the United States, is urging the reopening of border crossings that have been closed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The company stated that these closed locations represent 45% of its cross-border business and include goods that are critical to the U.S. economy.
Capacity Constraints and Trade Disruption
Due to the closure of these crossings, Union Pacific is facing capacity constraints as there are not enough alternative gateways to reroute the affected goods. With Christmas and New Year’s holidays just around the corner, the company is in close communication with multiple government agencies and its customers, urging the CBP to reopen the crossings.
Migrant Crisis Impacting Operations
The CBP has taken various actions to handle the surge in migrant traffic, diverting agents from other stations to assist with migrant processing. The number of daily encounters continues to break records, with over 12,600 overall and 11,000 illegal immigrant apprehensions reported on Monday alone.
Complex Humanitarian Crisis and Security Measures
While Union Pacific acknowledges the complexity of the humanitarian crisis, it emphasizes that most migrants are not crossing the border on trains. The company also highlights its own security measures, such as the use of X-ray technology to detect people and contraband.
Trade Disruption and Impacted Goods
Every day the border remains closed, Union Pacific is forced to embargo customers’ goods on more than 60 trains, with nearly 4,500 rail cars affected. This disruption has significant implications for cross-border trade, particularly for agricultural products, including grain, food and beverages, automotive parts, and consumer goods.
Policy Talks in Washington
Talks are currently ongoing in Washington regarding policy changes to asylum limits in order to secure agreement on a supplemental funding request from the White House, which includes $14 billion for border funding. While progress has been made, it is unlikely that a deal will be reached before the New Year.
For more information, Fox News’ Bill Melugin and Griff Jenkins contributed to this report.