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December 10, 2013

Rep Schweiker: Mexican-Latin American Trade Hearing Indicates Potential for AZ Commerce

Consistent Data Needed to Accurately Assess Infrastructure Needs

Scottsdale, Ariz., December 9, 2013 – Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ) issued the following statement in reaction to witnesses’ testimonies at a House Committee on Foreign Affairs Field Hearing in Tucson today about what is needed at America’s borders with Mexico to facilitate commerce and improve security.

“We have a multi-billion dollar trade opportunity before us between the United States and Mexico… [To do this], we need to overlay the honest discussion of security and protection for folks on both sides of the border and work toward a conclusion and understand what the next generations of solutions look like,” said Schweikert.

As businesses here in Arizona continue to expand their relations with Mexico and Central America, the need for smoother, secure transportation of goods and materials will increase. Witnesses of today’s field hearing echoed the need for a more efficient process of handling commercial traffic at US border crossings, citing possible options currently implemented in other locations and types of ports. Examples include technology used to rapidly assess container contents at ocean ports or express lanes used in other border crossing locations.

However, when questioned on the readiness of the infrastructure, Christopher Wilson, Associate with the Mexico Institute said current data is insufficient to adequately assess and diagnosis the traffic problems because of lack of consistent record keeping among border crossings.

“Without data on wait times and delays of border crossing times, alternative crossing options for businesses is risky,” said Schweikert. “So many times in the past, we as government took the risk and handed the profit-making side to the public. There are options to choose from.”

”We just need to understand the patterns at each border crossing location so the need of infrastructure can be appropriately valued and considered. A partnership for a smoother transport of goods across the border with Mexican and Arizonan businesses makes sense. We just need the data to understand where the bottlenecks are.”

Full video of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere Field Hearing, “Improving Security and Facilitating Commerce with Mexico at America’s Southern Border,” can be seen here.


Contact Maggie Zehring:
(202) 680-9613

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