Sunday, May 09, 2010

Border violence affecting trade, congressmen say

Livestock ports in Reynosa and Nuevo Laredo will remain closed indefinitely as a security team seeks safer inspection areas for the U.S. Department of Agriculture veterinarians. The U.S. State Department is assessing the quarantine pens located in northern Tamaulipas to determine whether they can be reopened with new security measures or must be relocated to safer spots elsewhere, said Lyndsay Cole, a USDA spokeswoman in Fort Collins, Colo. The pens used by veterinarians to inspect cattle before the livestock are exported to the United States were closed in late March after the USDA employees were confronted and detained by gunmen on a highway in Nuevo Laredo. About 17,000 head of cattle have been diverted to other ports of entry — mainly at Eagle Pass — in the past month while the security concerns at the facilities are addressed. But the closure of the livestock inspection ports is a “concrete example” that border violence is impeding trade between the United States and Mexico, said U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, who joined other border lawmakers in a meeting this week with high-ranking U.S. and Mexican security officials...more

No comments: