Arizona delegation wants the Trump administration to keep away from Arizona port trade

Recently, members of the Arizona congressional delegation urged the Trump Administration to rethink new inspection facilities planned for our state’s ports of entry, which are gateways of international trade with Mexico. After learning of proposals by the General Services Administration (GSA) and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to build new inspection facilities at ports of entry near Nogales-Mariposa and San Luis II, Sen. McSally gathered a delegation of like-minded individuals and organizations to express significant concerns over the duplicate facilities, which would impede trade with Mexico, the state’s top trading partner and now the country’s top trading partner.

Arizona’s democratic U.S. Senator Kyrsten Sinema, who has partnered with McSally on issues such as water sustainability and staffing levels at the ports of entry, supported the position in a letter sent to GSA administrator, Emily W. Murphy.

Co-signed by U.S. Representatives David Schweikert (R-AZ), Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ), and Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ), the letter outlines the pitfalls of what adding new inspection facilities would do at the ports of entry.

“The land ports of entry in Arizona are integral to the state’s economy,” the members wrote.  “Delays at the ports of entry slow down lawful commerce, and I have worked closely with the administration to increase efficiency while maintaining security at the ports. But when commercial truck drivers face unnecessary waits at inspection stations after crossing the border, our efforts to make the ports more efficient are wasted.”

Local leaders from the border towns where the proposed inspection centers would be installed have made their own concerns known. Gerardo Sanchez, the mayor of San Luis, and the board of supervisors of Santa Cruz County have both written letters to the General Services Administration expressing their support of the existing facilities and the opposition to the proposed FMCSA facilities.

“The approach that ADOT has embraced takes a holistic approach to truck safety,” Mayor Sanchez wrote. “It goes into Mexico to train truck drivers on the inspection process, it enables certified drivers to communicate with officers via WhatsApp before they start their approach to the border, and they have found ways to streamline the safety inspection process for those trucks that require the inspection before they hit the Arizona roads. The end results have been greater compliance by truck drivers and enhanced safety of our roads. Thus, our dismay at hearing that the General Services Administration is moving forward with the Environmental Impact Study for the construction of new, standalone truck facilities for FMCSA.”

Nick Esquer

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