City of Pharr Awarded Public Private Partnership to Facilitate Texas Produce Imports

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Thu. June 23rd, 2016 - by Melissa De Leon Chavez

WASHINGTON D.C. - Texas cities Donna, Pharr, and Red Hook terminals have been selected by the U.S. Customs Border Protection to further develop activities as part of the Donations Acceptance Program.

Pharr’s proposal in particular looks to facilitate and expedite shipments of fresh produce from Mexico, according to Bret Erickson, President and CEO, Texas International Produce Association.

Bret Erickson, President and CEO, Texas International Produce Association

“Efforts like this are crucial in facilitating trade and helping grow the Texas produce import industry, which contributed over 4,500 jobs and over $475 million in positive economic activity to the state of Texas in 2015,” Erickson said in an email to members on the announcement.

CBP Commissioner, R. Gil Kerlikowske, said that the patrol is excited to welcome three partnerships.

“Partnerships that CBP believes will lend themselves to a more secure, efficient, and reliable border transportation network,” Kerlikowske said, according to a press release. “Since launching last year, the Donations Acceptance Program has quickly become a viable mechanism and tool for investing in and expediting U.S. port of entry improvements.”

The respective proposals from each city are:

  • New inspection facilities and implementing more technologies to facilitate inbound empty commercial vehicle inspections at the Donna-Rio Bravo Port of Entry (POE).
  • Multiple improvements, including constructing a new cold inspection facility, a new agricultural inspection training and development facility, and expanding secondary inspection dock space at the Pharr POE.
  • Donating a perforating machine in support of operations at the Port of Freeport, Texas, proposed by Red Hook.

The Donations Acceptance Program also announced a new offering called The Small-Scale Donation Proposal Process, now accepting and evaluating proposals valued at $3 million or less on a year-round basis. Details to submit a proposal can be found here.

“At GSA, we understand that all of our buildings are an important part of the communities where they are located,” said Norman Dong, Public Buildings Service Commissioner. “That is why we are so excited to be working together with these three municipalities through the Donations Acceptance Program. This innovative collaboration will allow us to support the kind of trade and travel that is vital to not just these locations, but our country as a whole.”

For the latest announcements that could affect transport of fresh produce, continue to follow AndNowUKnow.