TEXAS AND MEXICO BUSINESS LEADERS UNITE TO ADVOCATE FOR STRONG ECONOMIC FUTURE

This week, TAB CEO Jeff Moseley met in Washington D.C. on the importance of NAFTA with Vice President Mike Pence and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

Texas-Mexico Trade Coalition will address cross-border policies, including a modernized NAFTA

AUSTIN, Texas – Today, prominent Texas and Mexico business leaders announced the formation of an organization designed to develop, promote, and grow trade opportunities between Texas and Mexico.

The Texas-Mexico Trade Coalition is the creation of the Texas Association of Business, the Texas Business Leadership Council, The Borderplex Alliance, and their partners and members north and south of the border. Together, the organization will represent thousands of businesses and associations across the state of Texas and Mexico to reinforce that NAFTA works and could work even better.

“Texas and Mexico share much by way of history and culture, but we also share deep economic ties,” said Jeff Moseley, CEO of the Texas Association of Business.  “The relationship benefits both countries economically, and we want it to continue to do so.  Our goal is to make sure our voices are heard in any conversations that might impact that relationship and to provide real data from Texas and Mexico businesses to guide discussions at all levels of government.”

This week, Moseley met with Vice President Mike Pence, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Senator John Cornyn, Ways and Chairmen Kevin Brady and John Culberson, carrying the message that NAFTA is important to Texas businesses and critical to the nation’s economy.

“Both the Texas and Mexican economies continue to grow,” said Moseley.  “I believe we can come to a consensus on a revised NAFTA, or a NAFTA 2.0, that will benefit everyone and keep those jobs and paychecks growing.”

The decision to launch the Texas-Mexico Trade Coalition comes as state and federal policymakers debate the merits of the North American Free Trade Agreement (“NAFTA”) and the Trump Administration moves forward with plans to renegotiate this important trade agreement.

“By any measure, NAFTA has been an economic success for Texas,” said Jon Barela, CEO of The Borderplex Alliance. “Mexico is by far our largest trading partner, and hundreds of thousands of paychecks across the state—and millions more across the country—depend on trade with Mexico.  An improved NAFTA that creates more economic opportunities and jobs between Texas and Mexico can only be positive for us.”

In 2016, Texas exported over $93 billion in goods and services to Mexico, representing 40 percent of its total exports.  It exported almost $20 billion in goods and services to Canada, its second-largest trading partner.  More than 40,000 Texas businesses export goods every year.

“We hope the new agreement will strengthen the bond between the U.S. and Mexico and ensure that companies and workers on both sides of the border are treated fairly,” said International Bank of Commerce CEO Dennis Nixon. “A re-negotiated NAFTA should take into account the many changes that have happened, both domestically and internationally, since the agreement was signed almost 25 years ago.”

Both Texas and Mexico have seen their economies grow since NAFTA went into effect in 1994.  Mexico’s economy is now the 11th largest economy in the world in terms of purchasing power parity, and experts predict that by 2030 it will surpass Germany’s economy. If Texas were a country, its GDP would make it the 12th largest economy in the world.  Since NAFTA went into effect, Texas’s economy has seen tremendous economic growth driven by exports and new production supply chains, which make goods and services more globally competitive.

“Mexico is an economic powerhouse that we should embrace, not ignore. We can’t assume that an economy that big does not have other options as far as trading partners,” said Justin Yancy, President of the Texas Business Leadership Council (TBLC).  “Mexico already has 10 free trade agreements with 45 countries. Limiting the U.S. trade relationship with Mexico will just push Mexico to take its business elsewhere.”

The Texas-Mexico Trade Coalition is mobilizing business leaders from both sides of the border to lift up how NAFTA has been an economic benefit to both Texas and Mexico and prioritize the changes that business leaders would like to see in a modernized NAFTA.

The importance of NAFTA is getting through in Washington.  Not only has Senator’s Cornyn and Cruz written in support of a strong NAFTA, Commerce Secretary Wilbur has written that it is important to “do no harm” when renegotiating the agreement.

The long-term goal of the coalition is to promote a stronger, enhanced relationship with Mexico, and seek a prosperous and positive economic future for Texas.  An improved and modernized NAFTA is a win-win for both Texas and Mexico and will go a long way in securing our economic future.

To learn more about Texas-Mexico Trade Coalition, visit www.TexasMexicoTrade.com or follow @TXMexicoTrade and www.facebook.com/TexasMexicoTradeCoalition/