ROMA, Texas (ValleyCentral) — A new project designed to handle a trade boom in Roma is receiving a significant amount of government support.
The Las Americas Roma Logistics and Industrial Park project kicked off Wednesday afternoon.
Those who know the Roma-Ciudad Miguel Aleman border know there is a need for help with logistics.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection says it has seen exponential growth in just three years.
“We were averaging about 23 trucks a day. Today we average close to 200 a day. We did not receive any produce. At this moment, we process over about 120 a day of produce. Roma is now the fifth largest port in terms of produce on the southwest border from California to Brownsville,” explained Andres Guerra, CBP port director for the Roma port of entry.
According to U.S. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, as trade with Mexico booms, it is very lucrative and becoming even more so.
“We’re hoping in the next, less than five years, we are going to hit $1 trillion of trade between the U.S. and Mexico. We’re at $863 [billion] last year the way we’re growing, I think in less than five years, we’ll hit one trillion,” Cuellar explained.
Cuellar was at the groundbreaking in Roma to announce $1.5 million in federal funding for the Las Americas Roma Logistics and Industrial Park.
It will be warehousing and roads on 328 acres of land. Phase 1 is expected to be completed in January and Phase 2 in February or March.
CBP will work with Mexican customs.
“So, today’s groundbreaking ceremony is for a secondary examination station. As many people are not aware, our footprint at the port of entry is very small. It’s less than 1.4 acres, what we have. This would have, give us the ability to process all, inspect all the overflow once we get filled in our lot,” Guerra said.
Congressionally directed funding will provide $1 million, and $500,000 will be provided by a USDA Rural Development Grant.