Washington, D.C. – Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva released this statement following today’s House Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee hearing on efforts to enhance economic growth and job creation by facilitating legitimate trade, modernizing customs procedures, and enforcing U.S. Customs and trade laws:
“Today’s hearing confirmed what many of my constituents have said for years. Trade with Mexico is vitally important to the U.S. economy and the livelihood of millions of Americans.
“The six million jobs that rely on trade with Mexico are spread across the nation. One of every twenty-four American workers depends on trade with Mexico for a paycheck. Mexico is America’s third largest trading partner and the second largest export market for U.S. businesses. Some states – Arizona among them – depend on Mexico as their largest or second largest export market.
“Last year, U.S.-Mexico trade totaled $397 billion. We can’t afford to treat trade with Mexico as an afterthought. While significant investments in border infrastructure have been made in recent years, including the opening of three new border crossings in 2010, more is needed.
“Nearly 80 percent of trade with Mexico enters or exits this country at a land port of entry along the southwestern border. Extended and unpredictable wait times hurt both economies, disproportionately affecting small and medium sized business and disrupting production chains at every economic scale.
“Well-managed borders are vital to a healthy American economy, which is why I introduced the Border Infrastructure and Jobs Act. This bill strengthens trade with Mexico, modernizes and expands border infrastructure, adequately staffs ports of entry, invests in innovation and revitalizes small businesses across the country by helping cross-border trade and commerce meet its full potential.
“This Congress needs to listen to border communities. Strengthening our land ports of entry should be a national priority. I look forward to working closely with my colleagues in advancing the Border Infrastructure and Jobs Act and expanding our job creation efforts to areas that really work.”