In a letter to Capitol Hill today, a stakeholder coalition of industry groups representing land, sea, and air, led by ACI-NA and others, came together to support new legislation calling for additional Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers to process an increasing volume of passengers and cargo at U.S. ports-of-entry. The groups note that CBP already suffers from staffing shortages, and they argue that providing additional CBP officers at this time of growing volumes of international passengers and cargo in the wake of the pandemic will both reduce lengthy wait times and facilitate new economic opportunities.
Sens. Gary Peters (D-MI) and John Cornyn (R-TX) last week introduced S. 3850, the Securing America’s Ports of Entry Act, which would increase the authorized number of CBP officers by 600 annually to help the agency meet its current and future staffing needs. The bill also would provide better information about CBP’s infrastructure needs at its ports-of-entry, as well as much needed transparency and accountability regarding the agency’s increasing reliance on reimbursable services agreements and temporary duty assignments to cover its system-wide staffing shortfalls.