The National Corn Growers Association is increasing pressure on U.S. officials to reopen the recently closed Eagle Pass and El Paso rail crossings into Mexico.
“These closures will have an immediate and prolonged impact on corn exports to Mexico, one of our closest and largest trading partners, during a period of high demand,” NCGA President Harold Wolle said today. “We urge our federal officials to resolve this issue quickly so the flow of goods between the two countries can resume as soon as possible and minimize the damage that has already been done by these abrupt closures.”
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. Twenty-five percent of U.S. corn exports into Mexico go through El Paso and Eagle Pass.
On Thursday, the National Corn Growers Association joined other national ag groups in sending a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas calling for him to quickly reopen the rail crossings.
“Each day the crossings are closed we estimate almost 1 million bushels of grain exports are potentially lost along with export potential for many other agricultural products,” the letter noted.
The letter also argued that the closures could have long-term impacts on U.S. exports.
“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.”
Mexico was the U.S.’s second largest trading partner in 2022. Mexico relies heavily on America’s grains to feed livestock that is now threatened by the rail closures. Corn grower leaders plan to continue to sound the alarms until the issue is resolved.