Border Trade Alliance Eyes Customs and Border Protection Funding in House Appropriations Bill
FY 13 spending bill seeks to fund CBP well above president's request, but concerns remain over port staffing and ACE
SAN ANTONIO – Border Trade Alliance president Nelson Balido released the following statement regarding the House Appropriations Committee's Fiscal Year 2013 bill, heard in subcommittee today:
"The Border Trade Alliance and cross-border trade advocates throughout North America have consistently been urging for increased funding for Customs and Border Protection and a more robust CBP presence at our ports of entry to facilitate trade and interdict contraband and those who would seek to do us harm.
"We are encouraged that the House Appropriations Committee's DHS funding bill for fiscal year 2013 seeks to fund CBP at a level that is $77 million over the president's initial funding request in order to provide for over 21,000 CBP officers. However, we must stress that our ports of entry need to receive more attention to help alleviate the long lines of legitimate trade and travelers waiting to enter U.S. commerce.
"It is still very early in the appropriations process, and in light of what has happened in recent years, it's anyone's guess as to what appropriations bills Congress will even complete or whether we're looking at another large omnibus spending bill.
"In addition to ensuring that these dollars flow down to the ports, we are concerned about proposed cuts to ACE – the Automated Commercial Environment – which trade relies on to ensure steady trade flows. Slowing the system's development does not bode well for a healthy U.S. trade picture."