Yesterday U.S. Rep. Gary Peters announced that Department of Homeland Secretary Jeh Johnson will visit Michigan to “discuss the importance of constructing proposed customs plazas at thigh volume trade crossings like the Detroit-Windsor border.” (MILive, The Detroit News, and The Detroit Free Press offer good reports on the news.)
In the press release, Peters shares his plan to hold a roundtable with Secretary Johnson. The topic? Securing construction funds for a customs plaza for the New International Trade Crossing (NITC), a planned bridge crossing between Detroit and Windsor. (Note: While authorized by the U.S. State Department, MLive reports here on outstanding land acquisition issues.)
Will the idea of a joint Canada-U.S. NITC customs plaza come up?
Peters expects to convene a roundtable discussion with Secretary Johnson and other local leaders and stakeholders to discuss the importance of these projects and the best steps going forward to secure funding.
In February, Peters introduced the Customs Plaza Construction Act of 2014 , to construct Federal Customs Plazas at critical trade crossings like the New International Trade Crossing (NITC) at the U.S. – Canada border and Port Huron. Peters’ legislation prioritizes funding for trade crossings with the highest trade volume by value of shipments, including exports and imports. The Detroit – Windsor crossing and Port Huron crossing rank number two and four, respectively, in trade volume for land ports of entry in the United States. Peters’ measure seeks to fund these critical customs plazas on the northern border to increase trade, create jobs and grow the economy in the state of Michigan. Funding for both the Detroit and Port Huron border crossings would be prioritized with passage of Rep. Peters’ measure.
The proposed NITC calls for a six-lane bridge spanning the Detroit River between Detroit and Windsor, enhancing a vital trade corridor by linking I-75 and I-94 in Michigan to Highway 401 in Ontario. The Government of Canada has agreed to fund construction and land acquisition of the $2.1 billion project, per an agreement with the State of Michigan to be repaid by tolls. This project will play a critical role in creating jobs throughout the Midwest and increasing U.S. exports.