The El Paso port of entry ranks among the busiest in the nation – second to only the San Diego/Tijuana port of entry – with inbound crossings into the United States. In 2018, 12.4 million personal vehicles carrying more than 22 million passengers crossed over into the United States using the El Paso port of entry.
The El Paso – Ciudad Juarez port of entry has seen an increase of trade crossings every year for the past 10 years. In 2018 the port of entry was responsible for $81.9 billion crossing. That amount is 103% more than the $40.5 billion it was responsible for in 2000, according to recent statistics.
“El Paso’s shared border with Ciudad Juárez unites our families and our values and it promotes commerce and trade,” U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-El Paso, said in her first address to Congress.
The sister cities of El Paso and Juarez coexist gracefully, contributing to each other’s economy. Crossing the border to shop, eat or for entertainment, the people of El Paso and Juarez have a great advantage of being able to take the best from both worlds.
Diligent shoppers can save a great deal of money is they know where to shop for a variety of products, including medicine. Drug prices, for example, are less expensive than they are in El Paso, said Margarito Fernandez, owner of two pharmacies in Juarez.
“The markup on medication is crazy in El Paso,” he said. The product is the same in both the United States and Mexico, same manufacturer, same potency, only difference is the price that it is sold for, he said.
“If both the El Paso and Juarez pharmacies get a product for $1, the pharmacy in Juarez will sell it for about $5, but in El Paso, the markup will be as high as $50,” he said.
Fernandez, owner of Farmacia Erick II for 25 years, said some customers only go to Juarez for their medication needs.
Some businesses operate in El Paso and Juarez. Robert Reyna is owner of the Royal Marketing Group LLC located in El Paso, but serves clients from Juarez. The Royal Marketing Group, Reyna said, “is a marketing service, doing all types of marketing from traditional marketing to digital marketing.” Digital marketing is when services are offered and suggested through people’s cell phones, computers and other digital devices.
Although a low percentage of Royal Marketing Group’s clients are from Mexico, Reyna said: “Being so close to the border, it was an immediate decision to include Juarez in offering their services.” The proximity is an advantage because they are able to cross the border and meet with new potential clients in their own city, Juarez, make them feel at ease.
Businesses that have thrived in this area quickly learned the importance of being able to serve both El Paso and Juarez. For the community, those that have learned to take advantage of this, are better off because they are able to expand their options and get the best bang for their buck, when it comes to food, shopping and/or medical needs.