NPI is committed to advancing the idea of the 21st Century Border. The region between Mexico and the United States is fast becoming one of tremendous commerce and job creation not just for states along the border, but for the nation as a whole. Yesterday Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva introduced the Border Infrastructure and Jobs Act of 2011. Below NPI analyizes the legislation and how it highlights the intermestic relationship between the U.S. and Mexico.
While this legislation’s main emphasis is on Arizona ports of entry, it also has national implications; 80% of trade with mexico enters through land, so investment in Arizona’s ports of entry is an investment for the nation.
The Government of Mexico provides a map showing that approximately 235,700 jobs in Arizona rely on trade with Mexico, that number is 252,800 for Michigan, 249,000 for Nebraska and 119,000 for Ohio – states with jobs that benefit directly from effective transportation and infrastructure at the border.
The bill would:
- Establish the United States-Mexico Economic Partnership Commission (EPC) to strengthen border economic development and commerce;
- Institute a Port Security and Trade Facilitation grant to expand trusted shipper program access to small and medium-sized businesses;
- Provide full funding for the expansion and modernization projects at the San Luis I and Douglas ports of entry;
- Add 500 CBP officers to Arizona’s land ports of entry;
- Establish a Border Small Business Revitalization grant program to stimulate employment opportunities and capital investment in border communities;
- Mandate that at least 30% of labor for any federal contract or subcontract is performed by a local subcontractor.
In the release provided for the legislation Congressman Grijalva noted that:
“American jobs rely on a smart, modern economy with the infrastructure to match. This is a realistic, necessary upgrade to our local and national business model, and there’s no reason to oppose the jobs this would create or the opportunities this would open up. I listened to Southern Arizona when I was writing this bill, and I believe this is the right way forward for our community and our country.”
The border bulletin is a daily roundup of stories from the region, if there is anything that you would like to see feel free to to shoot us an email at (firstname.lastname@example.org)