CBP, Mexican Counterparts Sign Agreements for Better Cooperation
The U.S. and Mexico have inked deals to help the two countries better cooperate on trade and customs compliance, as well as combat illicit activities. U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan and Chief of Mexico’s Tax Administration Service Osvaldo Santin signed a memorandum of cooperation on customs and trade enforcement in Mexico City on Monday. This agreement will facilitate the development and implementation of joint and coordinated programs aimed at increasing trade and customs compliance, as well as help combat illicit activities. Some examples of issues covered under this memorandum include items subject to anti-dumping duties, counterfeit merchandise and substandard pharmaceuticals.
“Strong international partnerships are critical to effective border security and facilitating the flow of commerce across our borders,” Commissioner McAleenan said. “These cooperative arrangements reflect our shared commitment to ensuring the efficient and secure flow of goods between our two nations, and addressing predatory trade practices from third parties. I am committed to enhancing this very important partnership with Mexico to continue to bolster the security and economic prosperity of both our nations.”
Additionally, CBP and the Mexican tax service signed a memorandum of understanding on a cargo pre-inspection program and unified cargo processing, or UCP. This agreement states the bilateral commitment for the further implementation of cargo pre-inspection and UCP programs, through which Mexican customs officers and CBP officers will work together to inspect and process cargo shipments. UCP currently operates at seven ports of entry along the U.S.-Mexico border, with the memorandum merging two more cargo pre-inspection sites into UCP. UCP eliminates duplicative inspection efforts while reducing border wait times and costs for the private sector. The new agreement looks to expand the process to possibly more than a dozen locations.
CBP and the National Service for Agro-Alimentary Public Health, Safety and Quality – Mexico’s agency responsible for inspecting incoming goods for pests and diseases – also signed an agreement to enable collaboration between the two agencies on agriculture safeguarding, agriculture quarantine inspections at ports of entry, and information sharing. The memorandum promotes cooperation and information sharing to enable the U.S. to handle legitimate and safe shipments while addressing those that pose a risk.
The trip was part of a larger Department of Homeland Security delegation headed by Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen sent to meet with Mexican counterparts to discuss economic and national security issues affecting both the United States and Mexico. The strong relationship between the U.S. and Mexico, and the safe and efficient crossing of goods, is critical to the economic success of both countries. The three arrangements are expected to enhance these efforts.
This was also Commissioner McAleenan’s fifth visit to Mexico, a testament to the priority CBP puts on the relationship between the two countries. CBP officials noted the tangible improvements over the years in the area surrounding the border, with one such example being the prosperous shopping area in San Diego and new housing that has popped up correspondingly in Tijuana, Mexico. Last month during President Trump’s meeting at CBP’s National Targeting Center in Sterling, Virginia, Commissioner McAleenan highlighted the strong partnership with the Government of Mexico to the President.
“We’ve had a significant improvement in our dialogue and our effectiveness with Mexican law enforcement and military in the last year,” Commissioner McAleenan said.
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 the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.