The U.S. and Mexico inaugurated a cargo pre-inspection program pilot Jan. 12 at Mesa de Otay, Tijuana, Mexico, according to the Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report. Under this pilot, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers and agriculture specialists working alongside Mexican Customs officers will pre-inspect low-risk, high-volume agricultural commodities that are part of the Department of Agriculture’s National Agriculture Release Program. CBP states that this initiative aims to improve the flow of trade and reduce border wait times and transaction costs.
The new facility in Tijuana, which aims to reduce congestion and speed cargo crossings into San Diego, overcame resistance in Mexico to letting U.S. officials carry guns, according to CBS News. In April, Mexican lawmakers approved changes to the country’s firearms law to permit foreign customs and immigration officials to be armed on the job.
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Editors Insight: This marks a positive development in cross-border cooperation. The Mexican government naturally was concerned about having armed U.S. agents on its soil.
Trade officials face a lot of challenges trying to negotiate cross-border agreements that are necessary to support increasing global trade.
With global trade expanding, pre-inspections agreements like this can play an important role in improving the safety of imported food and beverages. 1-14-16 By Elliot Maras