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October 20, 2014 11:00 AM, EDT

US, Mexico Agree to Accelerate Cross-Border Trade

John Sommers II for TT

Top officials with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Mexico’s Tax Administration Service signed an  agreement Oct. 17 aimed at accelerating secure trade.

The agreement, signed by CBP Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske and Mexico’s top tax official, Aristóteles Núñez Sánchez, will allow stronger collaboration through each country’s “trusted trader” programs that include CBP’s Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism and Mexico’s New Certified Companies Scheme.

The goal of the arrangement is to provide tangible and intangible benefits to program members, including fewer exams when shipping cargo, a faster validation process, common standards, efficiency for customs and business, transparency between customs administrations, business resumption, front-of-the-line processing and marketability, officials said.

C-TPAT is a voluntary government-business initiative intended to build cooperative relationships that strengthen and improve overall international supply chain and U.S. border security.