Enrique Pena Nieto, Mexican President and GQ poster boy, says that closing the Aduana’s garitas is good for Juarez. It’s hard to see how. The Juarez economy will lose that little bit of buying power that the agents brought home from the garitas. Juarenses weren’t much affected by the internal customs checkpoints, unless they were bringing goods to relatives in the interior.
The real winners will be El Paso retailers. More Mexicans will buy more products if they’re not confronted with the additional cost, whether legitimate tax or spurious charge extorted under the color of authority.
And of course those Mexicans inside the country will benefit from the big screen teevees and pointless personal electronics that will no doubt flood the Mexican marketplace now that the cordon of customs checkpoints have been removed. Will the United States become a trans-shipment point for Chinese schlock? Can El Paso benefit from the reduced impediment to unfettered free trade?
[Updated: In this story from El Diario, Chihuahua Governor Duarte predicts that the Juarez economy will experience explosive growth as a result of the closing of the checkpoints.]