Border Trade Alliance and sister organization in Mexico gather for high-level discussion

BTA and BTA México bring together trade authorities, elected officials from both countries for important dialogue on trade and trade security, honor U.S. Rep. Cuellar for his leadership on border issues

WASHINGTON (September 4, 2018) – The Border Trade Alliance and its sister organization, BTA México, gathered in Mexico City last Friday for their annual joint meeting on the most pressing issues facing the U.S.-Mexico border region.

The event, which was preceded by a welcome reception Thursday evening at the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs, took place just as the United Stated and Mexico announced they had reached an agreement in principle amid the ongoing negotiations to update the North American Free Trade Agreement.

“This annual event is so important as business and local government leaders, who must navigate a shifting legal and regulatory landscape governing cross-border commerce, seek to share their views and insight with the elected and administration officials who have oversight of trade and security issues,” BTA President Britton Clarke said. “This year’s edition once again featured valuable, candid discussions that left all of the participants better informed.”

Conducted in a free-flowing roundtable format, the discussion featured U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan; U.S. Representatives Henry Cuellar (D-TX) and Filemón Vela (D-TX), who both represent districts along the Texas-Mexico border; Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-KS), who chairs the Homeland Security Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee; and members of Mexico’s Chamber of Deputies, Olga Juliana Elizondo Guerra and Salvador Rosas, who both represent the state of Tamaulipas.

Francisco Cabeza de la Vaca, governor of Tamaulipas, attended the Thursday evening reception, and a member of his administration attended the Friday discussion.

“We are grateful that this year’s roundtable featured input from individuals who are so prominent in border-area policymaking,” BTA Chair Paola Avila said. “The BTA and BTA México believe that forums such as these are critical toward promoting game-changing initiatives and issues like Unified Cargo Processing, port of entry staffing levels, and emerging technology like non-intrusive inspection equipment that leads to faster crossing times, all of which we discussed in-depth.”

This year’s event also featured the presentation of the Friend of the Americas Award to Rep. Cuellar. The BTA presents the award to those individuals who demonstrate exemplary leadership on issues that span borders and promote commerce and cooperation.

“Rep. Cuellar is incredibly deserving of this award,” Ms. Avila said. “On complicated and sometimes contentious issues facing stakeholders who live and work along the U.S.-Canada and U.S.-Mexico borders, Rep. Cuellar offers a continuous desire to make our border regions better and enhance the quality of life around them.”

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