WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Border Trade Alliance is calling for the establishment of integrated Canada- U.S. border inspection areas.
Sandra Scott, vice-chair of the BTA board of directors, spoke before a White House subcommittee June 17, in support of H.R. 4418, the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) budget authorization bill, specifically calling for integrated border inspection areas that will allow U.S. and Canadian officials to inspect cargo loads before reaching their respective destinations.
Cargo at rest is cargo at risk, said Jessica Pacheco, chair of the BTA board of directors.
“By waiting to inspect a cargo load until after it arrives into the U.S. we allow passage of potentially dangerous cargo loads that put our country’s infrastructure at risk. This bill allows for the much-needed security to prevent dangers intended to stop our flow of traffic.”
The testimony also focussed on the importance of inter-agency information sharing as it relates to the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) and the International Trade Data System (ITDS).
ITDS offers a single window for commercial data to be provided by the private sector for processing by the ACE and distribution to Federal agencies.
The BTA has taken great interest in this issue as of late, going so far as to play a leadership role in establishing a coalition of key trade community stakeholders calling attention to the importance of ACE and ITDS, commented Pacheco.
“This streamlined sharing of information will accelerate border clearance times, reduce costs and cut down on inefficient paper-based systems,” she said.
Since 1986, the BTA has served as a grassroots, non-profit organization that provides a forum for discussion and advocacy on issues pertaining to the environment, border development, quality of life and trade in the Americas. BTA is a leader and authority on international trade and commerce throughout North America. A network of public and private sector representatives from the U.S. Mexico and Canada, its core values include a commitment to improving the quality of life in border communities through trade and commerce and a commitment to work as a community-based grassroots organization.
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