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International Business Affairs Forum

October 20, 2021 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am

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Border Infrastructure and Efficiencies –

A Conversation with U.S. Customs and Border Protection



Our binational region is home to the busiest land port of entry in the Western Hemisphere and hosts a thriving economy due to effective trade agreements (such as USMCA), a talented cross-border workforce, and strong binational communication and cooperation. Approximately 7.3 million people live on both sides of the 150-mile international border in California and Baja, and our proximity has resulted in an interdependent economic relationship and binational community. As a military town and gateway to trade, San Diego understands the vital importance of national security and cross-border commerce. We also know that protecting national security and promoting trade are not mutually exclusive. We have hosted pilot programs such as Unified Cargo Processing which has been key to facilitating cross-border commerce in our region, and have witnessed how strong international relationships and commitments have enhanced border security and trade between the U.S. and Mexico.

While we continue working to boost cross-border commerce, it is imperative to keep up with investment in border infrastructure. SANDAG’s Impacts of Border Delays at California-Baja California Land Ports of Entry study showed nearly $3.40 billion in economic output and estimated over 88,000 jobs were lost in the U.S. and Mexico in 2016 due to border delays. Without additional investment in our border infrastructure, this economic loss will continue to grow to $5.07 billion and more than 97,000 jobs by 2025. In March of 2020, the U.S. implemented travel restrictions impacting land ports of entry at our northern and southern borders. As we started to move toward economic reactivation and recovery, we were certain that binational collaboration on the COVID-19 response and enforcement of precautionary protocols would help limit the spread of the virus. The Chamber immediately joined business and community leaders across the U.S. in urging the federal government to lift restrictions, providing an overview of the economic implications these restrictions have had on our business community.

After 18 months, the federal government announced its plans to lift non-essential travel restrictions as U.S. land ports of entry. The travel restrictions directly impacted our economy, tourism, retail, small businesses, and cross-border workforce across sectors. Our business and binational community can now work on advancing an effective and complete economic reactivation and recovery in the border region. As we look out toward the future, we have the opportunity to work collaboratively with federal authorities and reduce impacts due to border delays– ensuring our region, and economies, and communities on both sides of the border, continue to thrive.

Join us on Wednesday, October 20 at 10:00a.m. to support regional projects and initiatives that enhance trade and international relationships such as the Otay Mesa East Land Port of Entry; learn about efforts to increase efficiencies at cargo inspections and fill vacancies at regional ports of entry; and discuss challenges as a result of the pandemic which have increased border wait times and limited travel across our shared ports of entry with Mexico and Canada. We will be hearing from Thomas Overacker, Executive Director, Cargo and Conveyance Security at U.S. Customs and Border Protection.


About the International Business Affairs Forums


Through the International Business Affairs Forums, the Chamber provides business leaders with the essential knowledge and resources needed to thrive within the binational marketplace. Attendees also have the opportunity to build and strengthen new relationships, exchange ideas, and debate policies that are relevant to the Cali-Baja business community. Meetings are held monthly, at the San Diego Regional Chamber office or in Tijuana

Registration is open to Chamber members only. If you are not a Chamber member, please contact Joshua Peters, Membership Benefits Coordinator, at to discuss membership opportunities and attending as a guest.

Event Details

Date: October 20th, 2021
Time: 10:00am – 11:00 am


Contact Details:
Kenia Zamarripa
Phone: 619-544-1316








October 20, 2021
10:00 am - 11:00 am
Event Categories:
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Kenia Zamarripa


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