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Glenn Hegar
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Glenn Hegar
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Glenn Hegar
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

economy

Port of Entry: El PasoImpact to the Texas Economy, 2018

Ports of entry within the state of Texas accounted for nearly $740 billion in international trade in 2018. Texas has 29 official ports of entry that serve as critical gateways to global trade. Each port, whether an airport, land port or seaport, serves many domestic and international economic activities across multiple industries. Each Texas port plays a distinctive role in the state’s transportation network and contributes to the state and local economies.

Of Texas’ total international trade, $408 billion, or 55.2 percent, traveled across the state’s border crossings with Mexico, with the El Paso port of entry accounting for 20.1 percent of land port trade, or about $81.9 billion.1 Each Texas land port is unique, facilitating the movement of people and goods between the neighboring countries through rail, commercial and personal vehicles and pedestrian traffic.

Economic Contribution

Based on the Comptroller’s estimate, trade through the El Paso port of entry in 2018 affected about 165,500 net jobs in Texas, and about $25 billion in gross domestic product (GDP) is related to trade through this port of entry (Exhibit 1).2

Exhibit 1:Trade through the El Paso Port of Entry
Estimated Total Contribution to the Texas Economy, 20183
DescriptionValue
Total direct trade value $81.9 billion
Related gross domestic product4 $25 billion
Total employment affected5 165,500

Sources: Regional Economic Models Inc. (REMI) model for Texas, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

El Paso Port of Entry Trade

El Paso’s several border crossings form one of 11 land ports along Texas’ 1,254-mile border with Mexico.

Exhibit 2: Trading Partners and Trade Products through  the El Paso of Entry (based on $ value), 2018
DescriptionPartners/Products
Top trading partner using this port: Mexico
Top products imported through this port: electronics, machinery, vehicles
Top products exported through this port: electronics, machinery

Source: U.S. Census Bureau: Economic Indicators Division, USA Trade Online

In 2018, the El Paso port of entry handled northbound border-crossing traffic of about 811,000 trucks, more than 12 million cars (with 22 million passengers) and more than 7 million pedestrians.

Shipping activity through this port accounted for $81.9 billion in trade in 2018, 102 percent more than in 2003 ($40.5 billion) (Exhibit 3).

El Paso Port of Entry, All Trade (All Commodities), 2003 to 2018

Exhibit 3: Port of El Paso, All Trade (All Commodities), 2003 to 2018
Year Total Trade through El Paso (in billions) Percentage of Total Trade through land ports
2003 40.5 billion dollars 26.1%
2004 44.7 billion dollars 25.5%
2005 45.1 billion dollars 24.6%
2006 48.8 billion dollars 23.8%
2007 51.1 billion dollars 23.5%
2008 49.4 billion dollars 22.1%
2009 43.4 billion dollars 22.9%
2010 57.1 billion dollars 23.6%
2011 61.3 billion dollars 22.2%
2012 66.8 billion dollars 21.9%
2013 68.1 billion dollars 21.3%
2014 68.9 billion dollars 19.8%
2015 73.0 billion dollars 20.5%
2016 75.5 billion dollars 21.1%
2017 76.5 billion dollars 20.2%
2018 81.9 billion dollars 20.1%

Source: U.S. Census Bureau: Economic Indicators Division, USA Trade Online

The El Paso port of entry’s top trading partner, Mexico, accounts for nearly all trade traversing the port (Exhibit 4). Mexico represents 94.5 percent of this port’s total trade, while the second largest trading partner, China, accounts for 4 percent.

Exhibit 4:El Paso Port of Entry Trade Value (2014 to 2018)
YearOverall Trade (billions) Trade with Mexico (billions)
Total TradeExportsImports Trade % of Total ExportsImports
2018 $81.9 $32.3 $49.6 $77.4 94.5% $32.3 $45.1
2017 $76.5 $29.6 $46.9 $70.9 92.7% $29.5 $41.4
2016 $75.5 $31.2 $44.2 $71.1 94.2% $31.0 $40.1
2015 $73.0 $31.2 $41.7 $70.0 95.9% $31.2 $38.8
2014 $68.9 $31.7 $37.3 $67.5 97.9% $31.6 $35.9

Sources: U.S. Census Bureau: Economic Indicators Division, USA Trade Online


  1. U.S. Census Bureau: USA Trade Online – U.S. Import and Export Merchandise trade statistics.
  2. Regional Economic Models Inc. (REMI) model for Texas was used with total trade value attributed to this port as a percentage of Texas’ total trade value as an input. These data were used to generate a weighted estimate of net jobs and GDP associated with trade at this port.
  3. The estimated contributions offer a strong indicator of the economic importance of this port of entry to Texas; estimates as such are not precise quantifications of direct or indirect contributions to the Texas economy.
  4. “Gross domestic product” refers to the total value of all final goods and services produced in Texas.
  5. “Total employment” refers to both direct and indirect employment.
  6. U.S. Census Bureau: Economic Indicators Division, USA Trade Online.

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