WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Kevin K. McAleenan called on members of the Commercial Customs Operations Advisory Committee (COAC) to participate in the newly formed Northern Triangle Working Group. The primary goal of the Northern Triangle Working Group will be the development of recommendations on reducing the nontariff trade barriers and improving customs processes in the Northern Triangle region of Central America, comprising the countries of Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras.
“It's very clear that the key push factors for illicit migration right now in the region are driven by economics,” said CBP Commissioner McAleenan. “Trade flows in the region are beset by poor and slow information exchange, limited coordination among border agencies, weak infrastructure and border control operations, customs delays and the lack of a risk management or true trusted supply chain partnership approach among the authorities in the region.”
The Commissioner added that the agency has relied on private sector expertise to tackle difficult issues in the past and is again seeking assistance in developing ways to help close the opportunity gap that exists in the region.
The purpose of the COAC is to advise the Secretaries of the Department of the Treasury and the Department of Homeland Security on the commercial operations of CBP and related treasury and homeland security functions. The COAC has always been a body of expertise and innovation, adept at identifying challenges and then creating best practices. The agency needs those skills now to aid the Northern Triangle region.
The COAC met on Feb. 27, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Ronald Reagan Building International Trade Center in Washington, DC.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between official ports of entry. CBP is charged with securing the borders of the United States while enforcing hundreds of laws and facilitating lawful trade and travel.