WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) and U.S. Representative Henry Cuellar (D-TX) issued the following statements after their Cross-Border Trade Enhancement Act, legislation promoting public-private partnerships to boost staffing and make infrastructure improvements at U.S. ports of entry without adding to the national deficit, was signed into law by President Obama:

Senator Cornyn: “Pilot programs like these already underway in Texas have reduced wait times, increased efficiency and improved commerce at our ports of entry. I’m pleased President Obama signed this bill into law so more ports of entry can benefit, and I thank Congressman Cuellar for shepherding it through the House of Representatives.”

Representative Cuellar: “I thank Sen. Cornyn for his bipartisan approach in working with me to pass this legislation. Every day, billions of dollars’ worth of goods cross the Texas-Mexico border, including $284 billion in trade at our nation’s largest customs district in my hometown of Laredo and the Rio Grande Valley. South Texas is a powerhouse for world trade, and this law will help increase the amount and efficiency of trade at our border ports of entry.”

Background on the Cross-Border Trade Enhancement Act

Developed with input from border community leaders and transportation industry stakeholders, the Cross-Border Trade Enhancement Act gives U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) the authority to enter into innovative partnerships with local governments and private sector entities. As federal resources remain scarce, port communities have sought alternate avenues to ensure essential needs are met in the face of growing demand. This authority allows CBP to better leverage limited resources to speed up the flow of traffic at international ports of entry. Partnerships with local governments and the private sector will support improvements to border infrastructure and enhance staffing levels across port environments.

The legislation has been endorsed by: the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; the Border Trade Alliance; the Texas Border Coalition; the Rio Grande Valley Partnership; Cameron County; the City of Eagle Pass; the City of Mission; the City of McAllen; the City of Harlingen; the City of Pharr; the Anzalduas International Bridge; the McAllen-Hidalgo International Bridge; the Pharr International Bridge; the Starr-Camargo International Bridge Company.