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New Presidential Permits Emphasize the Importance of the US-Mexico Border

blog image showing border congestion

The US-Mexico border is a pivotal point for international trade, especially as nearshoring continues and imports from Mexico into the United States overtook China for the first time in 2023. With this increased volume, we are also seeing higher levels of freight congestion, which are compounded by additional factors, including infrastructure limitations, security measures, and governmental policies in both countries. The recent issuance of Presidential permits affecting the US-Mexico is a step in the right direction toward alleviating this congestion.

Shift in the Presidential Permit Process

Under Executive Order 13867, initiated in 2019, the Secretary of State receives all Presidential permit applications for “the construction, connection, operation, or maintenance of our international boundaries for certain cross-border projects.” However, historically, obtaining a Presidential permit has faced various obstacles that can delay a project for years.

Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, along with U.S. Representatives Vicente Gonzales, Joaquin Castro, Monica de la Cruz, and Tony Gonzalez, have joined forces to spearhead an effort that will streamline the Presidential permitting process. Their collaborative approach underscores the unity and commitment towards improving the US-Mexico border trade infrastructure.

The role of the U.S. Secretary of State has shifted from approval or denial of a permit application to a role of advisory to the President, who has the sole authority to grant or deny a Presidential permit. Through this bipartisan effort, now under law, the State Department must provide its recommendation within 60 days after receiving the permit application.

Approval of Three Presidential Permits

This process shift has led to the recent approval of three significant Presidential permits that will support critical infrastructure needs to handle the increased trade volumes between the U.S. and Mexico. The Presidential permits issued will allow additional international bridges to be constructed in Laredo, Eagle Pass, and Brownsville.

The Presidential permit approved in Laredo is for the proposed expansion of the World Trade Bridge connecting to Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. This expansion, which includes the addition of two more commercial southbound lanes and a second adjacent span with eight northbound lanes, is set to increase the bridge’s overall capacity significantly. This development paves the way for a more efficient and promising future for US-Mexico border trade.

The next Presidential permit was issued to construct a vehicular bridge in Eagle Pass connecting to Piedras Negras, Mexico, for commercial trucking. The Puerto Global Trade Bridge will be the city’s third vehicular bridge and includes provisions for a rail crossing, further diversifying the area’s multimodal transportation options for cross-border trade.

The third Presidential permit, which focused more on pedestrians and passenger vehicles, approved the Flor de Mayo Bridge in Brownsville. It will be the fourth vehicular bridge in Brownsville, connecting to Matamoros, Mexico.

Issuing these permits is critical in supporting the current and expected increasing trade volumes between the U.S. and Mexico. These projects will help facilitate the movement of goods through the North American supply chain, positively impacting farmers, ranchers, manufacturers, and small businesses.

The US-Mexico supply chain is a significant aspect of ProTrans’ operations. With 30 years of experience working in Mexico and strategic locations along the US-Mexico border, we continue developing our services there.

Call ProTrans today to learn more about our in-depth cross-border expertise and intra-Mexico services.

About ProTrans International

ProTrans specializes in reliable Inbound to Manufacturing integrated with end-to-end, cross-border solutions to, from, and within North America. Backed by innovative, best-in-class service, we focus on engineering high-quality, lower-cost solutions enabled by our global team of experts, in-house Transportation Management System (TMS), and providing visibility of all shipments. Our solutions include Cross Border Consolidation, Supply Chain Management, Third-Party Logistics (3PL), Dedicated Transportation, Global Forwarding, Expedites, and Value-Added Services (Warehousing, Customs Brokerage).

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