US, Mexico outline successes and objectives around improving cross-border commerce

by Canadian Shipper

WASHINGTON, D.C.–The US and Mexico said following the second meeting of their High-Level Economic Dialogue this week that they have seen progress in facilitating cross-border commerce over the past year and anticipate further achievements in 2015. A joint statement issued after the Jan. 6 meeting identified the following highlights, said a Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report on Friday.

In 2014 the two sides “made significant strides regarding mechanisms for transportation and communications infrastructure planning and development” that have directly facilitated freight flows, reduced bottlenecks and improved logistics. A new air services agreement that offers competitive pricing and more convenient air services will enter into force once each country’s approval processes are finalized. At the El Chaparral-San Ysidro port of entry between San Diego and Tijuana, new construction has reduced wait times from three hours to approximately 30 minutes. In Nogales, Ariz. at the primary entry point of Mexican produce into the United States, inspection capacity was doubled. The 21st Century Border Management Initiative is working to track and push forward new and improved border infrastructure at 13 border crossings. The two sides are expediting the movement of goods and expanding supply chain security through a new mutual recognition arrangement between their trusted trader programs and the harmonization of data requirements for northbound rail shipments.

In 2015 the U.S. and Mexico will continue work to harmonize their data requirements to facilitate customs processes in all modes of transportation. Operations of three new facilities will be initiated: the West Rail Bypass in Matamoros, Tamaulipas-Brownsville, Texas; the Guadalupe-Tornillo port of entry in Chihuahua-Texas; and the Tijuana Airport Pedestrian Facility. Progress is anticipated on the proposed Otay II border crossing in the Tijuana-San Diego border region. Work will continue to implement the trusted trader program MRA. Regulatory cooperation will be pursued in such areas as energy, food safety and transportation to facilitate cross-border trade and co-production.

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