As a significant economic engine for the U.S. economic activity and global competitiveness, Mexico and Canada are our two largest export markets, valued at more than $580 billion. Imports from our North American neighbors contain far higher proportions of U.S. content than goods imported from Asia or Europe.
There are, however, significant logistical constraints to commercial flows within North America that hinder their potential competitiveness and job growth. Many of these constraints are tied to the countries’ infrastructure at their ports of entry.
The Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard Kennedy School published a research paper on the benefits to economic and job growth of reducing transaction costs at North America’s borders, with two propositions:
- The U.S. should be able to substantially improve cargo processing processes to better use existing infrastructure and vastly sped throughput at the border.
- American port infrastructure must be updated and improved, and governments should prioritize supplementing funding with private investment and other alternative sources given likely inadequacy of congressionally appropriated funds for the foreseeable future.
To read an article covering this topic by the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard Kennedy School, click here.