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CBP, TAMIU, U.S. Rep. Cuellar formally Dedicate Machinery Center Offices at Texas A&M International University

Release Date: 
April 20, 2018

LAREDO, Texas—Senior management from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Laredo Field Office, Texas A&M International University and U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar gathered today to formally dedicate the new permanent office for the Machinery Center of Excellence and Expertise (CEE) at TAMIU’s Center for Western Hemispheric Trade.

“The strong and effective working relationship and partnership between CBP, TAMIU and U.S. Rep. Cuellar has enabled us to find a new home for our Machinery Center at TAMIU,” said Director, Field Operations David P. Higgerson, Laredo Field Office. “The placement of the Machinery Center within an institution of higher learning with a specialization in international trade like TAMIU is a natural fit. We fully expect that the partnership will yield dividends in terms of increasing efficiencies for our Machinery Center stakeholders and studying innovative ways to expedite trade flows while ensuring compliance with federal trade and intellectual and property rights laws.”

CBP, TAMIU officials together with U.S. Rep. Cuellar cut the ribbon to dedicate the new offices for the Machinery Center of Excellence and Expertise at TAMIU
A ribbon is cut to commemorate the dedication
of the Machinery Center new offices at Texas
A&M International University. From left,
ADFO, Trade Operations Armando Taboada,
TAMIU President Pablo Arenaz, DFO David
P. Higgerson, U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, Vice
President Monica Salinas Ramos, Laredo
Licensed U.S. Custom Brokers Association,
Mayor Pete Saenz, City of Laredo.

Dr. Pablo Arenaz, TAMIU president, said the collaboration empowers two important opportunities for the University’s faculty and students.

“This offers our faculty exciting and robust opportunities to work with our Machinery Center partners on research projects related to international trade, international commerce and current and developing industry concerns. For our students, this opens up a world of engaging and relevant internship opportunities that can impact and drive their real-world professional goals,” Dr. Arenaz said.

“It has been a very rewarding experience to work with CBP and TAMIU and to secure the means to relocate the CEE to an institution of higher education that specializes in international trade,” said Congressman Cuellar. “I am pleased to see Machinery Center Offices open at the university which will foster modern and efficient ways for CBP to work with the international trade community and help bring positive improvements for TAMIU. This collaborative effort is a big step forward for TAMIU by offering internships and creating research facilities that will monitor important trade patterns that will have direct impacts on the U.S. economy.

“The Machinery Center will provide enhancements to CBP enforcement efforts in the area that will make us leaders in today’s competitive 21st century global-market. It will continue to optimize trade, bring more revenue to Laredo, and ensure consistent trade practices across different ports of entry.

Congressman Cuellar continued, “I would like to thank Director David Higgerson and senior management from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Laredo Field Office, and President Pablo Arenaz of Texas A&M International University for gathering today to formally dedicate the new permanent offices for the Machinery CEE at TAMIU’s Center for Western Hemispheric Trade.”

The Machinery Center originally opened on April 15, 2013 and was formerly housed at the Shiloh Tower office building at 109 Shiloh Dr., Ste. 300, Laredo, Texas and is composed of local CBP employees and virtual employees across the nation.

The Machinery Center provide one-stop processing to lower the Trade’s cost of business, provide greater consistency and predictability and enhance CBP enforcement efforts. The Center represents CBP’s expanded focus on “Trade in the 21st Century,” by aligning with modern business practices, focusing on industry-specific issues and by providing tailored support to unique trading environments. The Centers were established to increase uniformity of practices across ports of entry, facilitate the timely resolution of trade compliance issues nationwide, and further strengthen critical agency knowledge on key industry practices. The Centers transformed the approach to trade processing by moving from transactional processing (entry by entry) to management by account.

Laredo was chosen as the site for the Machinery CEE since it is the top port by volume for machinery imports in the U.S. Laredo is the largest inland port in the U.S., processing $121.6 billion in imports, $234 million in duties collected in FY 2017.

The Machinery Center at ports of entry across the nation in FY 2017 processed machinery imports exceeding $224.6 billion in import value, ranking fifth among the 10 Centers nationwide, and the amount of duties collected on those imports is approximately $2.07 billion. The amount of entry summaries processed by the Machinery Center in FY 2017 exceeds 4.2 million.

The top five commodity categories processed by the Machinery Center include the following:

  1. Printing machinery
  2. Taps, cocks and valves
  3. Smart phones
  4. Pumps, compressors and fans
  5. Refrigerators, freezers and refrigeration equipment.

There are currently more than 88,000 importers of machinery. In addition, Texas is the second-largest state for the number of machinery importers.

Interested parties may contact the Machinery Center at 866-295-7624, code 10 or via email at Juan J. Porras is Director of the Machinery Center.

Last modified: 
April 23, 2018