Current border infrastructure investment is lagging behind export growth
O’Neil, Senior Fellow for Latin American Studies for the Council on Foreign Relations, 13
[Shannon K., 6-18-13, Council on Foreign Relations, “Refocusing U.S.-Mexico Security Cooperation,” http://www.foreign.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/ONeil_Testimony.pdf, accessed 6-26-13, GSK]
Initiatives to modernize the border and build resilient communities (pillars three and four of the Merida Initiative) are further behind. Though some innovative border management programs, such as the Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism—which helps trusted businesses avoid extensive border checks—have improved efficiency, the overall tenor of U.S. policy has been to increase barriers, slowing flows of legal commerce. Financially, investment in border crossings and infrastructure has not matched the exponential increase in trade crossing the border each year. Investment has lagged not only for new construction, but also for basic maintenance on existing infrastructure, leading to overwhelmed and at times downright dangerous facilities (the San Ysidro border crossing roof collapsed in 2011, injuring seventeen people). Stressed infrastructure has also led to traffic jams lasting up to eight hours, and has cost billions of dollars in trade losses, without drastically discouraging or disrupting illegal flows.
Inadequate infrastructure on the U.S.-Mexican border causes massive delays- increasing operational capacity is key to competitiveness
Figueroa, Research and Policy Analyst at the North American Center for Transborder Studies, et al 11
[Alejandro, Erik Lee, Associate Director of NACTS, and Rick Van Schoik, Director of NACTS, December 2011, New Policy Institute and North American Center for Transborder Studies, “Realizing the Full Value of Crossborder Trade with Mexico,” http://21stcenturyborder.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/realizing-the-value-of-crossborder-trade-with-mexico2.pdf, pgs. 13-15, accessed 6-25-13, JB]
U.S. - Mexico Border Management: Building World Class Infrastructure for Competitiveness The U.S. and Mexico will be successful at enhancing a prosperous bilateral relationship to the extent that both federal governments and stakeholders are capable of coordinating the development of their border management and infrastructure. The massive and highly complex U.S. and Mexican economies interact and even create value at our shared border. According to a study conducted by Accenture for the U.S. Department of Commerce, today’s level of demand exceeds the physical infrastructure and operating capacity of our ports of entry. Wait times are projected to increase across the five busiest U.S. - Mexico border crossings if volumes continue to grow as expected and if infrastructure and operations remain the same.By 2017, it is estimated that the average wait time will be nearly 100 minutes — an increase of 60%. ¶ “A key component of our global competitiveness is creating a border for the 21st¶ Century...We must develop it and manage it in a holistic fashion and in ways that facilitate¶ the secure, efficient and rapid flow of goods and people and reduce the costs of doing¶ business between our two countries.”¶ —¶ Joint Statement from President Barack Obama and President Felipe Calderón, May 2010¶ Sharing a 2,000 - mile long border needs to be recognized as both a challenge and an opportunity. While land ports of entry between the two nations were first envisioned to process the legitimate crossing of people, goods and services across the border, security has taken a dominant role in recent years, hampering the ability of federal agencies to efficiently manage border traffic. Advances in border infrastructure simply did not happen during the last decade, which is astounding given the greatly expanded post - NAFTA binational commercial relationship. Our border’s infrastructure and capacity today reflects the needs of a bygone era. This became evident as never before when on September 1 4, 2011, the San Ysidro, California port of entry — the busiest land port of entry in the world — had to shut down its 24 north - bound lanes due to the collapse of part of its roof, injuring several people and damaging vehicles trying to cross into the U.S. from Tijuana, Mexico. ¶ According to a report by the San Diego Association of Governments, inadequate infrastructure capacity just at the border crossings between San Diego County and the state of Baja California creates traffic congestion and delays that cost both the U.S. and Mexican economies on average an estimated $7.2 billion in forgone gross output and more than 62,000 jobs on an annual basis. These border delays could cause $86 billion in output losses over the next ten years.
1) Thus the plan: The United States federal government should authorize the North American Development Bank to substantially increase investment in infrastructure improvement projects on the U.S.-Mexico border.
2) Thus the plan: The United States Congress should expand the mandate of the North American Development Bank to include funding for infrastructure improvement projects along the U.S.-Mexico border.
3) Thus the plan: The United States federal government should expand the mandate of the North American Development Bank and provide the necessary funds to improve land ports of entry along the U.S.-Mexico border.
4) Thus the plan: The United States federal government should fully fund the Trusted Travelers’ Program and expand the mandate of the North American Development Bank to include infrastructure improvement projects on the U.S.-Mexico border.