Texas Border Cities Ink Deal With Feds For Faster Bridges

By David Martin Davies
December 20, 2013

Texas border trade officials signed a deal Thursday with Customs and Border Protection that will help speed up traffic at their ports of entry. The deal is a public-private partnership that could beef up border business.

A government study found that delays at the United States-Mexico border resulting from poor staffing levels and inadequate infrastructure cost the U.S. economy $7.8 billion in 2011.

Border Trade Alliance President Noe Garcia says this agreement will fix that problem for the Texas ports of entry participating in this pilot program.

“In Texas we aren’t willing to let the grass grow underneath our feet, and if the federal government is not fulfilling its obligations we’re willing to step in and fix the problem," Garcia said.

Five Texas border cities kicked in $10,000 each into the program. That money will be used to pay for overtime of customs officials when border bridge traffic is most busy. Garcia said this will move traffic faster and give Texas ports an economic advantage.

“Absolutely this will give Texas a competitive edge over California, New Mexico and Arizona – we’ll see how they work out. In some places they may not work out as well as in other places," Garcia said.

The Texas border cities aren’t waiting for the ink to dry on the agreement. They are already implementing it.