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Troops Deployment Could Hurt Texas Economy

Analyst M. Ray Perryman says the deployment increases uncertainty about the area’s stability and can discourage business investment, tourism and other economic activity.

Airman 1st Class Zoe M. Wockenfuss/U.S. Air Force via AP
The Trump administration is deploying active duty troops to the border to help stave off migrant caravans.

The current deployment of U.S. troops to the southern border might cause the Texas economy to lose $1.7 billion in potential revenues and lose over 9,500 jobs, according to an analysis by The Perryman Group, an economic research firm based in Waco.

The Perryman Group
M. Ray Perryman.

M. Ray Perryman, president and CEO of The Perryman Group, told News 88.7 he has looked at economic activity that would not happen because of the deployment and that would happen otherwise.

"We know this happens because troops have been deployed to the border three or four times in the last ten or fifteen years and we can look at what happens when they’re there versus what happens when they’re not there," said Perryman, who speaks of "historical patterns."

The analysis details that the $1.7 billion in "expenditures losses" would be "per year of deployment."

Perryman's analysis also contends the deployment could cause over $859.1 million in annual gross product in Texas.

"The deployment increases feelings of uncertainty about the area’s stability and it could discourage business investment, tourism, and other desirable economic activity," noted Perryman, while adding "you’ll have companies that are reluctant to invest, you’ll have shoppers who won’t come from across the border to shop, you’ll have even local people, local residents, who don’t come out and shop during these times."

According to the expert, deployments slow down spending by businesses and individuals on both sides of the border and also some of the manufacturing activity in that region.

As an example, Perryman said people from Mexico who normally come over for Christmas shopping in McAllen won’t come because of fear of the troops and the possibility of being stopped.

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