As COVID-19 continues to spread, the secure, efficient trade of legitimate medical equipment and other essential goods becomes even more vital. CBP is working to facilitate trade and ensure that essential items continue to make their way across the border. A well-established customs broker in Laredo, Texas, said that “CBP has been pro-trade and understands the importance of the supply chain process” and that “they are working with the trade stakeholders to ensure the flow continues.” CBP has managed to ensure that ports remain operational despite minimal closures and reduced hours at some small border crossings. It has also coordinated with other agencies and private industry through the COVID-19 Cargo Resolution Team (CCRT), created by CBP’s Pharmaceuticals, Health and Chemical Center of Excellence and Expertise.
CBP is doing its best to ensure that trade continues, though this presents a risk for officials at the border. As of April 5, a total of 160 employees have tested positive for COVID-19. As is the case for all essential workers around the U.S., it will be important for CBP employees to receive the necessary Personal Protective Equipment and medical care to ensure the flow of goods across the border.