The passage of the United States – Mexico – Canada Agreement has a lot of benefits for North American trade. Securing deals with our two neighbors and largest trading partners is essential for the agricultural industry and others. Recently Iowa Agriculture Secretary Mike Naig led a trade trip to Mexico. While he was there, the Secretary got a firsthand look at how border screening works for goods coming across the border from both sides.
Audio: Iowa Agriculture Secretary Mike Naig talks about border experience.
Secretary Naig’s group went up to the border crossing between Laredo, Texas and Monterey, Mexico. Naig says the trip was very interesting to learn about the work that customs and border agents do on either side to maintain the safety of products and people. The Secretary also said he was impressed with the amount of infrastructure used to move goods across the border, and this is just one of many crossing points.
Secretary Naig says that if you think security is just pulling up to the border, showing manifest, and being waived through; you would be incorrect. The amount of scrutiny on both sides of the border was intense. You have to remember that, again, this is just one border crossing out of many.
The sheer amount of trucks and trains that cross the border, every day, is astounding. This is not including the normal traffic that crosses as well. Naig says the amount of work being done by the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol and the United States Department of Agriculture Foreign Ag Service is amazing. The Secretary also praises the supportive work of Ag groups like the U.S. Meat Export Federation, U.S. Grains Council.
With the threat of outside foreign animal diseases such as African Swine Fever or Foot & Mouth Disease, the necessity for tight inspections in our ports of entry is essential. Naig says this is truly not just a United States effort but a North American effort.
Secretary Naig wrapped up his experience by saying it is truly wonderful seeing that the United States can move so many agricultural goods across the border quickly and safely to our closest neighbors.
Secretary Naig and I will talk more about his Mexico trip and much more on our monthly segment during this week’s edition of Weekend Ag Matters.