U.S.-Mexico border ports of entry prepare for an even busier year if USCMA passes

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Nexstar) — The Senate is gearing up to vote on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement trade deal, but some lawmakers are already preparing for what happens once the deal passes.

Texas Congressman Henry Cuellar says trade between the U.S. and Mexico is expected to increase by 5% every year under the new trade deal.

He represents one of the busiest ports of entry in the country — the Laredo, Texas port of entry, which processes $100 billion in trade between the U.S. and Mexico each year. And that number is expected to skyrocket once the USMCA is finalized.

“We see more than 14 to 16,000 trailers a day,” says Cuellar. “You are talking about times where it could go from $1.3 billion dollars every single day.”

Cuellar says Customs and Border Patrol is already preparing for the high volume of cars and trailers expected to cross the border — including adding 1,200 new CBP officers and working with Mexico to make sure the bridges are physically able to handle the capacity.

But before that happens, Cuellar says they are waiting for the Senate to vote on the trade deal.

Iowa Republican Senator Chuck Grassley says the deal is ready to go to the Senate floor for a vote, but he blames House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for the hold up.

Pelosi says she will send the Articles of Impeachment against President Trump to the Senate this week — which Grassley fears could delay a vote on the USMCA even longer.