January 14, 2013

NBAA has joined more than 50 organizations in petitioning the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to ensure that President Obama’s budget request includes adequate funding for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) staffing at U.S. ports of entry.

In a letter to OMB Acting Director Jeffrey Zients, the groups said understaffing at ports “increases wait times, costs industry billions, and discourages business and leisure travelers from visiting the U.S.”

The letter also says, “Over the past five years, a disproportionate amount of funding has been designated for increasing staffing of border patrol officers between the ports of entry at the expense of staffing for customs officers who facilitate trade and travel at the ports of entry.”

The groups also recommend that CBP continue “to focus on ways that it can utilize its current staff more effectively, through expanding trusted-traveler programs, aggressively implementing its Trade Transformation Agenda and evaluating additional methods for increasing efficiency at the ports.”

Review the letter. (PDF, 14 KB)

Along with NBAA, the letter’s signers include the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and numerous city and state chamber groups.

“The nation‘s economy relies heavily on the safe and efficient transfer of people and products into and across the U.S.,” said Doug Carr, NBAA vice president of safety, security, operations & regulation. “Adequate staffing at U.S. ports of entry is necessary to facilitate international trade and improve travel for the millions of business travelers who visit the U.S. each year. NBAA joins these groups in urging the President to ensure needed CBP funding.”