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473700-00067-1 Report Abstract

Opening the Border to Cross-National TruckTraffic: The Texas Perspective

Jerry L. Jamieson Jr., and Robert Harrison, University of Texas at Austin, December 2002, 53 pp. (473700-00067-1)

Few Issues have been as contentious as the opening of the Texas-Mexico border to cross-national truck traffic.  This study examines issues surrounding an open border and assesses the possible benefits and costs for the citizens of Texas.  The study uses economic data on trade volumes and employment to assess the impacts that an open border will have on Texas.  By removing border trucking restrictions, trade and its associated positive economic benefits should increase for Texas and consumer prices should fall.

An open border should lead to reduced congestion, reduced accidents, and less pollution (air and noise) for Texas border communities.  To assess the most contentious open border issue, safety, studies used to evaluate Mexican truck safety are scrutinized, the politics of the safety issue are examined, and recommendations are made for properly evaluating Mexican truck safety.  After assessing the economic, environmental, social, and safety issues, this study comes to the conclusion that, although an open border produces winners and losers, it will be a net benefit to the state.  However, transportation-dependent border economies will suffer I the short-term once open border trucking operations take effect.

Keywords: Border, Texas-Mexico Border, Trade Volumes, Truck Safety, Mexican Trucks

ENTIRE REPORT (Adobe Acrobat File – 264 KB)