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Intercambio: A conversation on the cross-border economy

The economy may not be the first thing that comes to mind when San Diegans think of the border region. But the region known as Cali-Baja is an economic powerhouse. It produces a gross domestic product of nearly $250 billion according to a recent report from USD. That's more than 23 U.S. states. Industries in the region from manufacturing to biotech generate thousands of jobs on both sides of the border. On top of that Cali-Baja attracts billions in venture capital from foreign investors.

But it's not all good news: pandemic-induced supply chain issues have presented obstacles. And at the San Ysidro Port of Entry — the busiest border crossing in the nation — the wait to cross the border into the U.S. can take hours, impacting everything from the shipping routes of multinational manufacturing industries to the daily commutes of workers who cross the border each day. In addition, the ongoing political focus on border security and safety has hampered the efficiency with which goods and services can flow between the two countries.

KPBS Investigative Border Reporter Gustavo Solis moderated a conversation on the cross-border economy and what obstacles that could stand in the way of future growth. Listen to the panel above.



Corrected: July 5, 2022 at 4:58 PM PDT
The Cali-Baja gross domestic product is nearly $250 billion. An earlier version of this story incorrectly said million. We regret the error.