CBP puts $5 billion price tag on land port upgrades
CBP not the main culprit for border delays, Ahern says
U.S. Customs and Border Protection needs $500 million per year for the next 10 years to modernize land border facilities and reduce delays entering the country, Assistant Commissioner Thomas Winkowski said last week.
Backups at northern and southern land border crossings began to worsen last year in part due to additional security checks and continued travel during peak periods. But officials have also blamed a large part of the delays to inadequate capacity at checkpoints, built decades ago, to handle much smaller volumes of traffic. The North American Free Trade Agreement in the mid-1990s opened the door to record levels of trade with Mexico and Canada.
Businesses and agency officials, for example, are frustrated that attempts to facilitate truck flows are stymied by traffic leading to the plaza and inadequate space for more dedicated lanes for pre-certified drivers and shippers.
“We’re dealing with some serious wait time issues on the southern border,” Winkowski said in an address to the American Association of Exporters and Importers in Newport Beach, Calif. ' Eric Kulisch