- Created on Tuesday, 05 March 2013 20:26
- Written by IVN
Sacramento, California - This morning, a trade-focused resolution jointly authored by Assemblymembers Ben Hueso and V. Manuel Pérez passed its first policy hurdle. Assembly Joint Resolution 4 urges the federal government to fund much-needed improvements at the San Ysidro, Calexico, and Otay Mesa Ports of Entry.
The resolution passed with bipartisan support on a vote of 9-0 in the Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economic Development, and the Economy and now heads to the Assembly Floor.
Improving the ports of entry at the U.S.-Mexico border is not only important for the border districts we represent,” said Pérez, “it is very significant for the economy of our entire state. Mexico is California’s top trade partner, yet inadequate and inefficient infrastructure at the border ultimately costs California businesses millions of dollars. These are dollars that our businesses could re-invest to help create jobs and spur economic growth, helping our state remain competitive in the post-recession economy.”
Cross-border trade between California and Mexico, both imports and exports, was valued at more than $190 billion in 2011. According to a 2007 study by the Imperial Valley Association of Governments, California businesses lost an estimated $436 million and 5,639 jobs directly attributable to long wait times, as well as environmental costs due to idled trucks, at the border crossings. The 2010-11 Global Competitiveness Report by the World Economic Forum placed U.S. infrastructure 23rd in the World, a drop from its rank of 7th in 2000.
Pérez is also the author of AB 311, which expands the role of the California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank (I-Bank) to include facilitating infrastructure and economic development financing activities within the California and Mexico border region. Promoting infrastructure development in the economic corridor comprising the Coachella, Imperial and Mexicali Valleys can facilitate the region’s economic recovery and growth. Provisions in the bill specifically prohibit state moneys from being used to finance projects in Mexico. The bill has been referred to the Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economic Development, and the Economy.