According to Kristin Dziczek, the vice president of industry, labor and economics at the Center for Automotive Research, approximately 16 per cent of all auto parts used in the United States originate in Mexico. This means that most vehicles produced in the United States use some Mexican parts and the industry could effectively shut down within a week if it doesn’t receive supplies.
The U.S. auto industry imports $59.4 billion worth of parts from Mexico while exporting $32.5 billion worth of parts to assembly plants in Mexico. A shutdown of the US-Mexico border could, therefore, also cripple their Mexican operations.
In a statement, the president of the American Automotive Policy Council, Matt Blunt, said that a border shutdown would hurt the U.S. economy.
“Any action that stops commerce at the border would be harmful to the US economy, and in particular, the auto industry. Access to Mexico’s marketplace and North American integration are critical to operations in the US,” he said.
Among the most important auto parts imported into the U.S. from Mexico are wiring harnesses. According to Dziczek, roughly 70 per cent of the wiring harnesses used in U.S.-built vehicles come from Mexico. Without a wiring harness, you simply can’t build a car.
“Sure, it’s going to have a negative impact on the economy. But security is what is most important to me. We’re going to have a strong border or we’re going to have a closed border,” Trump said.