Rick Van Schoik, border portfolio director at the North American Research Partnership, writes for the San Diego Union Tribune on why America should invest in Mexico-U.S. crossborder infrastructure–and makes a powerful observation on the Beyond the Border (BTB) Initiative:
Even though the Department of Homeland Security calls the program with Canada “Beyond the Border” and with Mexico “21st Century Border” it has not been authorized nor appropriated to enable staffing, technology or infrastructure improvements at ports of entry — our welcome mats not only to commerce from Mexico, but also to and through Mexico to the world. We’ve put all our eggs in one basket, the secure portions between ports of entry, and not in an overall security system — a security system of economic, continental and common security.
The United States and Canada are already doing much to enhance the rule of law in Mexico. Both are engaged in the training of cops, lawyers, judges and forensic scientist to enable Mexico to mature it jurisprudence system — one as antiquated and, some say, as unfair, as courts of olden days.
The single best return on investment is encouraging development in Mexico by enhancing the opti-modal transportation system of North America so the three of us can continue to export products, services and, soon, energy to the world’s marketplace. The content of Canadian and Mexican exports contain the highest percentage of U.S. goods of any global economy.