KMSB "Fox-11 Forum," Sunday, 1/15/12, 7:30 AM.

Posted: Updated:
By Bryce Potter By Bryce Potter

Host Bob Lee interviews Lance Jungmeyer, President, Fresh Produce Assn. of the Americas, and Alejandro Canelos, owner, Apache Produce Distributors. The Fresh Produce Assn. of the Americas is a co-sponsor of a recent report called “Steps to a 21st Century U.S.-Mexico Border.”  The report addresses many issues that define the U.S.-Mexico border and which determine the border’s efficiency.

Jungmeyer says the report come about as a result of a U.S. Chamber of Commerce “U.S.-Mexico Leadership Initiative Vision 2020.”  He says the report focuses on ways to enhance growth and security through steps to improve the border.  Among the key findings, he says, is the need to engage the private sector to improve supply chain security and trade facilitation. He points out that today’s border infrastructure was developed for traffic flows of a bygone era.  He says modernizing infrastructure is essential to both security and trade.  He says that includes staffing increases and facility upgrades.  

Canelos says Mexico and the United States trade more than one-billion dollars worth of goods each day.  He says twenty-two states count Mexico as the number one or number two export market.  He says Mexico is a key source of counter-seasonal fruits and vegetables, including tomatoes, melons and peppers.  He says produce coming through the Nogales POE goes to grocery stores and restaurants nationwide.  

Jungmeyer says the report recommends increasing federal funding for non-intrusive inspections of northern-bound cargo, as well as training and infrastructure to minimize damage to products being inspected by U.S. and Mexican authorities.  He also mentions that 235,700 jobs in Arizona rely on trade with Mexico.