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PHOTO RELEASE: MDARD Director Gary McDowell & State Budget Director Chris Harkins Tour Fort Street Cargo Examination Facility at Port of Detroit & U.S. Customs and Border Protection Operations at Detroit Metropolitan Airport
October 26, 2022
DETROIT, MI – Today, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) Director Gary McDowell and State Budget Director Chris Harkins toured the Fort Street Cargo Examination Facility at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) operations at the Port of Detroit and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection operations at Detroit Metropolitan Airport. The Port of Detroit is located along the west side of the Detroit River and is the largest seaport in Michigan.
"Michigan is uniquely positioned as an international trade location known for generating a positive economic impact, but these locations also include several agricultural aspects, from an agriculture lab to a USDA Port Veterinary Office for live animal inspections. These border locations showcase how vital our partnerships are between federal, state, and local government entities," said Director McDowell. "Our border crossings also allow state and federal staff to work collectively to protect against invasive species which have the potential to impact our natural resources and our incoming food supplies. MDARD is on the front lines protecting Michigan's economy and ecosystems."
“Today, we were fortunate to witness some of the logistics and infrastructure necessary to ensure security at the border between Detroit and Windsor; the busiest commercial corridor between the United States and Canada, and at Detroit Metro Airport, one of the major airport hubs in our country,” said Director Harkins. “The partnership between state and federal officials is exceptional to witness and important for us to understand as we continue to evaluate infrastructure and law enforcement needs within the state.”
Currently, the Detroit Field Office oversees CBP operations at ports of entry across Michigan, overseeing approximately 35% of all trade between Canada and the United States flows through Michigan. The Port of Detroit is the second busiest commercial trade crossing in the United States.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the comprehensive management, control, and protection of our nation's borders, combining customs, immigration, border security, and agricultural protection at and between official ports of entry. As the United States' first unified border entity, CBP takes a comprehensive approach to border management and control, combining customs, immigration, border security, and agricultural protection into one coordinated and supportive activity.
The Port of Detroit is overseen by the Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority, a five-member board of directors appointed by the State of Michigan, Wayne County, and the City of Detroit.
Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport is the primary international airport serving Detroit and is Michigan's busiest airport. The Federal Aviation Administration National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2017–2021 categorized it as a large hub primary commercial service facility.
Throughout 2022, Director McDowell is meeting with Michigan's food and agricultural businesses to focus on how they can continue to thrive in Michigan's new economy and how best MDARD can assist their continuous development.