Making Tijuana-San Diego relations stronger
The Trade Corridor Enhancement Program provides approximately $400-$500 million annually for infrastructure improvements on federally designated Trade Corridors of National and Regional Significance. The California Transportation Commission, which is tasked with implementing this program, recently approved $1.39 billion in infrastructure projects from this program, including $89 million for the border region. The following projects in Otay Mesa were funded:
- $6 million for Phase 1 of the Otay Truck Route Phase IV (as previously announced in our newsletter).
- $21.9 million for the South Bay Expressway/905 Southbound connectors
- $37.1 million for the Siempre Viva Interchange/State Route 11
- $5 million for the Otay II Port of Entry
- $11.9 million for technology that will display accurate border wait times to the public at all California-Baja California Ports of Entry.
As part of an initiative to facilitate trade between Mexico and The United States, through a partnership between CALTRANS, SANDAG and categorical support from the Otay Mesa Chamber of Commerce, a new state of the art port of entry is being proposed and developed in Otay Mesa. The project consists of building a second border crossing station in the Tijuana-San Diego area.
Called Otay Mesa East Port of Entry, its main objectives are to reduce wait times at the border and increase operational efficiency. The new Port of Entry will serve both personal and commercial vehicles.
Greater efficiency will be achieved through this innovative project, which will also be the first shared customs facility, with personnel from both the USA and Mexico. This is a border infrastructure project that will benefit trade and enhance international prosperity since Mexico is California’s number one export market.
In May 2013, President Barack Obama and President Enrique Peña Nieto announced the formation of the US-Mexico High-Level Economic Dialogue (HLED) to promote economic growth in the United States and Mexico, create jobs for citizens on both sides of the border, and ensure that both nations can better compete globally. The SR 11/Otay Mesa East POE project is recognized as a priority project under the HLED. In the most recent round of dialogue that occurred in February 2016, the two nations issued a joint statement calling the Otay Mesa East project a ”port of entry of the future and a new paradigm for binational planning.”
The amount of time between a good being produced and available to be consumed has always been a key competitive factor in trade. Having a second port of entry like Otay Mesa East will decrease the time between supplier and consumer… As time is money, the longer the delay time, the larger the loss will be for companies in both countries. About 90% of trade between California and Mexico is transported by truck, so an increase in reliability and predictability in cross-border waiting times will lead to a significant increase in the regional productivity, which will lead to foreign manufacturing enterprises moving their manufacturing operations to the region.