‘Would have a potentially catastrophic economic impact on our country…’
(Kaylee McGhee, Liberty Headlines) President Trump’s economic aides, congressional Republicans, and business associations warned the president against closing the southern border, arguing that a closure could cause severe economic damage.
As U.S. Customs and Border Protection struggles to process and respond to the masses of immigrants seeking asylum in the U.S., Trump said he is considering shutting down the border until the immigration system can recover.
“I’m totally ready to do it,” Trump said on Tuesday, acknowledging that it could have a “negative impact” on the economy.
But the GOP is pushing back.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said such a move would be irreversibly damaging.
“Closing down the border would have a potentially catastrophic economic impact on our country and I would hope that we would not be doing that sort of thing,” McConnell told reporters on Tuesday.
Even Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., one of Trump’s top allies, warned the president against closing the border.
“You’re taking a bad problem and by closing the ports of entry, you create another problem,” Graham said.
Major economic and trade groups, like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), urged Trump against taking such an aggressive action.
NAM said business could lose up to $726 million for every day the border is closed.
“Everybody is on board that this would be very devastating. It’s not an industry that you can turn the switch on and off and no damage would be done. It’s not a light switch,” Kristin Dziczek, an expert on the economics of the auto industry at the Center for Automotive Research, a nonprofit think tank based in Michigan, told Politico. “Economic recoveries don’t die of old age; they die of policy mistakes — and this is the biggest mistake I can think of.”
And both Kevin Hassett and Larry Kudlow, the president’s top economic advisers, have stressed how economic growth could grind to halt if Trump closed the border for just one day, according to Politico.
Trump said he is still considering a temporary closure.
“Sure, it will have a negative effect on the economy,” he said. “But to me, trading is very important, the borders are very important, but security is what is most important. I mean, we have to have security.”
Congress must get together and immediately eliminate the loopholes at the Border! If no action, Border, or large sections of Border, will close. This is a National Emergency!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 3, 2019