GILBERT, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - From electronics to dairy, Arizona sells more goods and products to Mexico than any other country. So what will local farmers do if the ports close?

Boyle belongs to a co-op, the United Dairymen of Arizona. And Mexico is their biggest trade partner.

"We ship a variety of products into Mexico, on a daily basis," Boyle said. "Whether it's fresh cream, butter and a whole variety of dried products."

[RELATED: Sen. McSally wants to keep U.S.-Mexico border open for business]

Boyle said he and his co-op peers export about 40 percent of the dairy products they produce. Two-thirds of that goes to Mexico.

"With it being shut down, those products would just back up," Boyle said. "The problem is we make that product every day. Milk doesn’t slow down. We don't stop producing milk one day."

And he said they’re still trying to recover from tariffs one year ago.

"Now a shutdown of the border would almost make that seem insignificant," Boyle said.

[RELATED: White House 'looking into' economic impact of closing border, economic adviser says]

He added that this comes at a time when Arizona dairies are already struggling. He said in the last year, eight farms, or about 10 percent, have closed in our state.

Boyle they’d have to find a home for the products that couldn't be exported here in the U.S., but that would likely drive prices down.

"We employ thousands of truck drivers. We have on-farm employees in the thousands. Every one of their jobs would be at risk," Boyle said. "You'd struggle to survive."

Award-winning journalist Lindsey Reiser is a regular contributor in the evenings on CBS 5 News at 10 p.m.
 
 


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