Transportation and Infrastructure
Congressman Cuellar has always recognized the increased need for transportation infrastructure trade facilitation in Texas’ 28th Congressional District. He continues to work in Congress to secure necessary federal funding to complete numerous critical projects across South Texas.
The Congressman has sought to allow for automated pre-screening and inspection data collection of U.S.-bound cargo earlier in the supply chain. At the border, he is funding the automatization certain functions allowing CBP Officers to focus inspection skills on high-risk enforcement, security and compliance shipments. This includes integrating technologies such as robust WIFI capability, Radio Frequency Identification Devices (RFID), drive through multi-energy truck portal X-ray systems and other CBP cargo processing systems into a common software package, and include modern traffic control queueing systems.
He has also helped to build an air traffic control tower with an operations center, X-Ray Image analysis stations, and cameras to monitor activities through the compound in real time and provide managers with container status at any point. This includes a state-of-the-art Inspection and Technology Training Center and Agricultural Laboratory. His goal is to maximize joint inspections with other U.S. Federal, State, and Mexico Customs partners to the greatest extent possible by providing flexible and scale-able inspection areas to meet future needs including bypass lanes.
Congressman Cuellar has helped secure over $100 million in investments for expansion and improvements of the World Trade International Bridge in Laredo, which is the largest in land port of entry of the United States. This has led to more efficient processing, increased cargo capacity and reduced wait times. Federally funded infrastructure at the border, such as this, create millions of additional dollars in economic output and create jobs, while securing Texas’ 28th District as a world trade hub. The World Trade Bridge facilitates over $300 billion in trade through the transport of over 2 million trucks crossing annually.
The Congressman has helped facilitate the awarding of over $181 million in federal grants to the Laredo International Airport. This support has allowed for infrastructure improvements that will continue to attract international trade revenue to local communities, while increasing the overall safety and efficiency of the airport. Additionally, Congressman Cuellar included funding and language in the FY20 Energy and Water Development bill to support water infrastructure projects such as Mission Reach and Chacon Creek and the Corpus Christi Ship Channel Improvement Project (CIP).
The Congressman wholeheartedly supports these robust infrastructure efforts due to South Texas’ continued economic boom based on surging international trade markets. He believes it is essential to continue to capitalize on the nearly $1.7 billion in goods that flow across the border every day. In 2018, trade between the U.S. and Mexico exceeded $611.5 billion. In 2018, there was $265 billion in U.S. exports to Mexico and $346.5 billion in imports from Mexico. The Congressman intends to continue to facilitate access to these sources of economic prosperity for Texas’ 28th District and the entirety of the U.S.