Manchin Secures Customs and Border Protection Officer for Yeager Airport
Washington, DC – Today Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) announced that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will replace the Customs officer at Yeager Airport in Charleston, after being without an officer following the retirement of Officer Norm Justice on December 31, 2014. According to a study conducted by the National Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events at the University of Southern California, adding a single CBP officer equates to annual benefits of $2 million in gross domestic product, $640,000 in saved opportunity costs, and 33 jobs added to the economy.
“This is great news for West Virginia,” Senator Manchin said. “When given the opportunity, West Virginia businesses prove time and time again that they can succeed in the global marketplace. By filling the position left vacant by Officer Justice, we are expanding the opportunities for our local businesses to engage in global commerce.”
“The reopening of the Customs Office at Yeager will contribute to economic development in our region by making us more convenient for international passengers and cargo operations. We appreciate Senator Manchin’s efforts in helping to secure this position,” said Terry Sayre, Yeager Airport Director.
On September 16, 2015, Senator Manchin sent a letter to Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson encouraging him to immediately fill the vacant CBP officer position.
Please read the full text of the letter below or click here.
Dear Secretary Johnson:
As you know, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is the law enforcement entity responsible for managing the nation’s 328 air, land, and sea ports of entry. It plays a major role in promoting economic development by facilitating international trade and travel and enforcing hundreds of laws and regulations that protect American businesses from illegal foreign competition. Unfortunately, since the December 31, 2014, retirement of Officer Norm Justice, the state of West Virginia has been without a CBP officer, and we cannot afford to wait any longer.
According to a study conducted by the National Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events at the University of Southern California, adding a single CBP officer equates to annual benefits of $2 million in gross domestic product, $640,000 in saved opportunity costs, and 33 jobs added to the economy. Yeager Airport was the gateway to West Virginia for international visitors, and Officer Justice was the only CBP presence in the state. The decision to leave his post vacant for the past nine months has diverted significant economic activity to neighboring states and put West Virginia at a severe competitive disadvantage, and I respectfully request your assistance in resolving this matter as soon as possible.
While there is nothing we can do about what has happened, we can level the playing field for West Virginia businesses and give them a chance to compete in a global marketplace going forward. There are exciting business opportunities on the horizon which depend on a reliable CBP presence at Yeager Airport, and I am hopeful that we can work together to resolve this matter in the near future. Should you have any questions or need any additional information, please contact Wes Kungel in my office at (202) 224-0162 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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