Dear Chairman Johnson and Ranking Member Peters:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce supports S. 1004, the “Securing America’s Ports of Entry Act.” International trade and travel are critical to our economy and way of life. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) plays a critical role in safeguarding our borders from dangerous people and materials, and in enhancing the nation’s global economic competitiveness by enabling legitimate trade and travel. While the volume of commerce crossing our borders has more than tripled in the past 25 years, CBP staffing has not kept pace with demand.
S. 1004 would help address this problem by enabling CBP to hire inspectors who are critical to executing the agency’s mission. Providing additional CBP officers at this time of growing volumes of international passengers and cargo would reduce lengthy wait times, help stop the flow of illicit drugs, and facilitate new economic opportunities throughout the United States. CBP estimates that enacting this legislation could increase yearly economic activity by over $1 billion and result in the addition of over 17,000 new jobs.
We thank you for supporting this important legislation. We hope that as the bill moves forward it will continue to enjoy bipartisan support, and we are ready to assist in efforts toward passage.
Neil L. Bradley
cc: Members of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
cc: The Honorable John Cornyn