U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, today introduced S. 178, the Cross Border Trade Enhancement Act of 2013, which would encourage public-private partnerships to boost staffing and make infrastructure improvements at U.S. ports of entry. On Saturday, Sen. Cornyn was joined by local mayors, community and business leaders in Brownsville at the Veterans International Bridge to announce the bill's re-introduction.
"This bill recognizes that the Texas border trade community is vital to the economy of the Rio Grande Valley, Texas, and the nation, and that Washington can facilitate positive changes without adding to the deficit.
"I'm deeply grateful for the support and input I've received from local officials and business leaders in developing this legislation and look forward to a continued partnership as I work to advance the measure in Congress."
Background on the Cross Border Trade Enhancement Act of 2013
Due to increasing fiscal constraints in Washington, the border trade community has explored ideas for alternative funding for ports of entry improvements to keep the bridges open longer and expand development to ensure safer and more efficient travel and commerce. Sen. Cornyn's legislation would allow Customs and Border Protection and other federal agencies to partner with local governments or private entities in order to improve staffing and infrastructure at our land ports of entry. The bill would also require the General Services Administration to expedite review of alternative financing arrangements, ensuring that proposals no longer sit on desks in Washington for decades.
Sen. Cornyn's legislation has been endorsed by: United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; Border Trade Alliance; Texas Border Coalition; Rio Grande Valley Partnership; Judge Carlos Cascos, Cameron County; Mayor John Cook, City of El Paso; Mayor Raul Salinas; City of Laredo; Mayor Ramsey English Cantu, City of Eagle Pass; Mayor Beto Salinas, City of Mission; Mayor Richard Cortez, City of McAllen; Mayor Martin Zepeda, City of Hidalgo; Mayor Chris Boswell, City of Harlingen; Mayor Leopoldo "Polo" Palacios, City of Pharr; Brownsville Chamber of Commerce; Sam Vale, Owner, Starr-Camargo International Bridge Company.