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Hard-pressed US ports lack funds to build US Customs new facilities

MARITIME port authorities across the United States claim to have come under mounting pressure from US Customs and Border Protection to build new on-site facilities to house the agency's officers at a time when budgets are being squeezed to construct urgently-needed infrastructure

Hard-pressed US ports lack funds to build US Customs new facilities

MARITIME port authorities across the United States claim to have come under mounting pressure from US Customs and Border Protection to build new on-site facilities to house the agency's officers at a time when budgets are being squeezed to construct urgently-needed infrastructure

06 December 2018 - 19:00

MARITIME port authorities across the United States claim to have come under mounting pressure from US Customs and Border Protection to build new on-site facilities to house the agency's officers at a time when budgets are being squeezed to construct urgently-needed infrastructure.

'From a port perspective, generally CBP staff already have adequate facilities and in most cases these facilities are occupied on non-revenue lease terms,' said American Association of Port Authorities president Kurt Nagle in a letter to CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan, reported American Shipper.



'What are the CBP housing concerns with existing facilities? Why do they need to be addressed through new construction in order for CBP to meet its mission?' Mr Nagle asked.



The PA believes that the construction of new CBP facilities at sea ports should be sought and approved through the congressional process of appropriating and authorising federal funds, not made the responsibility of state and local governmental authorities.



According to Mr Nagle port authorities, particularly small and midsize operators, lack the additional funds required to build new CBP facilities.



'Many ports already are straining their budgets to build the terminal, road and rail infrastructure needed to address congestion, keep freight flowing and serve the American economy,' Mr Nagle told the CBP Commissioner.



'The costs of the facilities CBP is requesting are substantial and ports face the prospect of delaying other critical projects to meet increasing demands from CBP for new facilities.'



In mid-October Mr Nagle recommended in another letter to both House and Senate homeland security appropriations subcommittees that they consider raising their respective fiscal 2019 budget appropriation proposals to hire 375 CBP officers to 500, above the current annual attrition rate of 700 CBP officers.


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