Bottlenecks are threatening to choke off the vitality of U.S.-Mexico trade, states the San Antonio Express-News in today’s editorial.
The ports of entry at the Southwest border demand more lanes, bridges and inspection stations for the trucks that carry 85 percent of the goods that move across the border.
Neither the U.S. federal government or its Mexican counterpart have enough funds for this infrastructure but projects could be financed by the San Antonio-based North American Development Bank. But the problem is that U.S. government agencies responsible for building and staffing border trade facilities. The General Services Administration and Customs and Border Protection — are barred from using funds other than those appropriated by Congress.
Bipartisan legislation introduced by Rep. Henry Cuellar, R-Laredo, and Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, would end this prohibition and enable federal-state and public-private cooperation on trade infrastructure projects.
If Congress won’t invest in the infrastructure needed to alleviate the constraints on U.S.-Mexico trade, it should at least make it possible for states, municipalities and private entities to do so.