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Mexican Government Says More Are Crossing Border For Shopping

Mexican shoppers are paying more money in customs duties when they return from shopping in the U.S., according to Mexican government. But that may not necessarily mean that more people are crossing the border to shop in the U.S.

Mexico’s federal tax agency is reporting a bump in customs collections. It says that figure increased by 14 percent from January to April this year, compared to the same period last year.

But at the same time, Chris Wilson, with the non-partisan Mexico Institute, says that many border communities in the U.S. are reporting a decline in cross-border shoppers.
 
“The biggest reason for that is because of the value of the peso,” Wilson said. “The peso is weaker, so they can’t buy as much with it, in terms of dollars. So they’re more likely to buy domestically, and less likely to buy across the border in the United States.”
 
Cross-border shoppers returning from the U.S. to Mexico paid almost $5 million in customs duties during the first four months of this year.

Jorge Valencia joined KJZZ in August 2016 as the station's first senior field correspondent based in Mexico City. His reporting focuses on the business and economics between Arizona and Mexico.Valencia previously covered the North Carolina statehouse in Raleigh for North Carolina Public Radio. He reported on a controversial law that curtailed protections for lesbian, gay and transgender people, and on voting rights and environmental policy issues. He also reported on the shooting of three Arab-American students, traveling to Turkey's border with Syria to report on a project the students had started to help Syrian refugees.Valencia began his journalism career covering crime for the Roanoke Times of Virginia and in internships with newspapers including the Wall Street Journal. He has been the recipient of multiple journalism awards for his work in radio and in newspapers. Valencia studied journalism at the University of Maryland and grew up in Bogotá, Colombia, and the suburbs of Washington, D.C.