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WASHINGTON D.C. — Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28) and Congressman Michael McCaul (TX-10) have introduced the Cross-Border Trade Enhancement Act of 2012, which will allow U.S. Customs and Border Protection the authority to enter into public-private partnerships with either local governments or private sector entities to fund improvement of services and facilities at land-border ports of entry, with the goal of speeding the traffic flow at the ports.

“Every day, over a billion dollars in commerce flows across the U.S.-Mexico border, making Mexico one of our most important trade partners and a crucial partner in supporting U.S. economy and jobs,” said Cuellar, who is the ranking member of the Homeland Security Border and Maritime Security Subcommittee. “Because of the crucial role CBP plays in supporting the efficient and effective flow of goods between our two countries, we must leverage every available resource to make sure that CBP has the tools it needs to do its job well, keep lines short and move goods and people across the border efficiently.”

McCaul said a similar approach at the Port of Houston proved successful.

The legislation’s goal of providing alternatives to the CBP is a response to restricted availability of federal funding, a press release said. In addition to funding additional staffing at ports of entry, these public-private partnerships will also support construction and maintenance of facilities and infrastructure to increase operational abilities.

The bill is similar to one introduced in the U.S. Senate by Sens. John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchison.

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