Fall board meeting welcomes guests from CBP, features tours of port of entry and leading produce warehouse

WASHINGTON (November 13, 2023) – The Border Trade Alliance appointed four new board members at its fall board meeting last week in Tubac, Arizona.

Joining the board are:

  • Brownsville, Texas Mayor John Cowen
  • NatureSweet Vice President and General Counsel Skip Hulett
  • Laredo, Texas Mayor Dr. Victor Treviño
  • Cameron County, Texas Assistant County Administrator Anthony Lopez

“We are so fortunate to welcome to the Border Trade Alliance board of directors individuals with tremendous public and private sector expertise into the policies that will help make our borders more efficient, secure, and economically competitive,” Border Trade Alliance President Ms. Britton Mullen said. “The breadth of experience and insight of our board members only enhances our credibility on Capitol Hill and in the administration when it comes to border policy.”

The BTA board of directors convenes each fall to adopt its policy agenda for the coming year. The BTA in 2024 will continue its advocacy for adequate staffing levels and infrastructure to process trade and travel, while also advocating for a streamlined presidential permit process, and opposing state-level inspection programs that cause shipping delays and congestion around ports of entry.

“The BTA anticipates that our nearly 40 years of advocacy for our borders, and our board members’ many decades of collective experience and expertise, will be called upon in 2024 to work with Congress and the White House to craft policies that ensure our borders and ports of entry are properly resourced and well managed,” Mullen said.

The BTA also welcomed as special guests to the board meeting Customs and Border Protection Tucson Field Office Director Guadalupe Ramírez, and David Higgerson, who prior to his retirement served as director of field operations in CBP’s Tucson, El Paso, and Laredo field offices.

“These are challenging times for border communities as we navigate the impact of migrant surges at our ports of entry, as well as rising trade volumes that require additional staff and improved infrastructure to keep pace,” BTA Chairman Lance Jungmeyer said. “We appreciate leaders like Director Ramírez and Mr. Higgerson for taking the time to give us their valuable perspectives on how the trade community can work with CBP to ensure trade is processed in a timely manner without sacrificing security.”

Tucson DFO Guadalupe Ramirez address the BTA’s November 2023 board of directors meeting.

The board meeting was capped off with a tour of the Mariposa Port of Entry in Nogales, Ariz. and a tour of Del Campo Supreme’s produce warehouse.

“The BTA extends its thanks to the outstanding professionals from CBP at the Port of Nogales who provided an excellent behind-the-scenes tour of Mariposa,” Mullen said. “The tour was another reminder of the tremendous importance of CBP’s dual mission to process trade and travel efficiently while also keeping our country safe from illegal trafficking and from individuals who would seek to do harm. We will continue to advocate for the resources that allow CBP to do its job more effectively.”

Jungmeyer, who is also president of the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas, said the tour of Del Campo Supreme gave BTA members a better understanding of the vibrant agricultural trade between the United States and Mexico.

“Diego Ley and the entire team at Del Campo Supreme gave us a great look at how fresh produce can make its way from a farm in Mexico to store shelves in a matter of days thanks to companies like Del Campo Supreme and others that are essential to a resilient agricultural supply chain,” Jungmeyer said. “The BTA’s advocacy for policies that facilitate cross-border agriculture trade is essential to ensuring consumers have access to affordable and quality fresh produce.”

Diego Ley of Del Campo Supreme speaks to members of the BTA.

Since 1986, the BTA has served as a grassroots, non-profit organization that provides a forum for discussion and advocacy on issues pertaining to border development and quality of life and trade in the Americas. A network of public and private sector representatives from the United States, Mexico and Canada, BTA’s core values include a commitment to improving the quality of life of border communities through trade and commerce. The BTA is online at thebta.org and @borderalliance.


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