IBC Bank Chairman and CEO Dennis E. Nixon, a longtime advocate for free trade who has worked hard for the passage of the USMCA trade agreement, was recently named co-chair with his Mexican counterpart, of the Trade Policy Working group of the U.S.-Mexico CEO Dialogue.
The group strengthens economic and commercial ties between the two countries by convening private sector leaders from the United States and Mexico to provide joint recommendations for their respective governments on priorities in the bilateral trade and investment relationship.
Nixon’s Mexican counterpart and co-chair is Rafael Moises Kalach Mizrahi, chairman and CEO of Grupo Kaltex SA de CV. Grupo Kaltex manufactures and commercializes textile products, producing synthetic fiber, yarn, fabrics, garments and textile home products. Nixon follows outgoing U.S. co-chair Pat Ottensmeyer, CEO of Kansas City Southern.
November 20, 2019
Leading business group in Texas applauds Pres. Trump’s Austin visit
As President Donald Trump returns to Texas to tour an Apple facility where the company’s Mac Pros are manufactured, the state’s leading business group applauds his focus on the Lone Star State.
Apple will invest $1 billion to build a campus in north Austin and plans to hire more than 5,000 new employees. The company will build its new Mac Pro in Austin while many of the company’s other products are assembled in China.
Texas Association of Business president and chief executive officer Judge Jeff Moseley said the announcement showcases the value of bringing offshore jobs to Texas and boosting the state’s economy.
“Bringing a manufacturing operation here and expanding it is really a Texas story,” Moseley said.
“We’re very pleased that this president is focused on trade and on investment and the fact that Apple is investing again in Texas is really big news,” Moseley said.
November 12, 2019
Teresa Pontius Caves named Wichitan of the Year during chamber's Economic Forum
During a luncheon that highlighted the economic potential and successes of both Wichita Falls and the state of Texas, an influential individual received one of the city's highest honors.
Teresa Pontius Caves, former CEO and president of the Wichita Falls Area Community Foundation, was named Wichitan of the Year, an honor given by the Times Record News and voted on by previous honorees of the award.
Caves, whose tenure at the foundation spanned two decades, seemed moved and overwhelmed by the honor, a secret maintained until the name is announced.
The Wichitan of the Year trophy depicts the message behind the award: Given "in recognition of her contribution to the economy, citizens and future of Wichita Falls."
In addition to her work at the foundation, which includes initiating the annual 16-hour day of giving, Texoma Gives, benefiting hundreds of area nonprofits, Caves also championed such endeavors as: the Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce, Partners in Education, the Dillard School at MSU, Small Business Development Service, United Way, the Eastside Boys and Girls Club, the Community Health Care Center, First Step.
Texas Businesses Sign Letter Supporting a Permanent Legislative Solution for Dreamers
Tuesday, a group of almost 50 business leaders from across Texas released an open letter to U.S. Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, asking them to take up legislation that will provide a permanent solution for undocumented youth, also known as Dreamers.
DACA recipient and San Antonio & Austin Business Outreach Manager Andrea Ramos Fernandez will be personally delivering this letter to Senator Cornyn and Senator Cruz in Washington, D.C. on November 11th. “Dreamers such as myself need a permanent solution to this issue. We have helped the state of Texas thrive, and I believe that America can grow from our talent,” said Ramos Fernandez, a DACA recipient and San Antonio resident.
According to a study by New American Economy, Texas has 226,115 DACA-eligible Dreamers, the second highest number after California. DACA-eligible Dreamers earn $3 billion in income and pay $473.3 million in local, state, and federal taxes, leaving them with $2.57 billion in spending power every year.
October 7, 2019
From D.C. to San Antonio and Mexico, Influential Bank Exec Lobbies for Solutions
As a teenager, Eddie Aldrete spent his after-school hours rolling The Evening Star while watching the Watergate scandal unfold on TV news broadcasts before heading out to deliver the papers in his Washington, D.C., neighborhood.
With classmates also the sons and daughters of statesmen, Aldrete lived in a “fishbowl of politics,” he said, which became the foundation for his influential role today advocating for longstanding global trade relationships in a time fraught with divisive border issues.
In September, the San Antonio-Mexico Friendship Council recognized Aldrete, senior vice president of IBC Bank, for those efforts. The Amistad Award honors individuals or organizations that personify the council’s mission to strengthen and promote the cultural and historical ties between San Antonio and Mexico. It puts him in the company of people like Judge Nelson Wolff, Ed Whitacre, Carlos Alvarez, Lila Cockrell, and La Familia Cortez, among others.
Wind energy is powering opportunity across Texas, supplying low-cost, reliable electricity for millions of families and businesses. However, recently there’s been some confusion about how the state’s power system responded to an intense heat wave last month, including wind’s role in it. Here are the facts.
Wind energy output is highly predictable. Grid operators are able to predict changes in wind generation many hours, and sometimes days, in advance. That means they have ample time to plan for changes in wind production. That stands in contrast to the sudden, unexpected outages that can occur at conventional power plants, which are far more costly and difficult to manage for grid operators than lulls or bursts in wind production. The reality is no energy source is reliable and available 100 percent of the time. Conventional power plants go offline for routine scheduled maintenance, and they can experience complications that can’t be predicted.
During this month’s Texas heat wave, the state’s wind farms performed pretty much as grid operators expected. In 63% of hours that week, wind was within 5 percent of the grid operator’s expectation or was producing more than the operator expected, based on data from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which manages most of the electric grid in Texas.
November 21, 2019
Despite Plans to Study Other Business Issues, Texas Senate Not Pressing Ban of Mandatory Paid Sick Leave
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is asking Texas State Senators to study a variety of issues ahead of the next legislative session. It is common practice for the Senate’s presiding officer to issue what are called “interim charges” to committees. These “charges” are basically a list of subjects that lawmakers may wish to act on in the next legislative session.
“Austin and Texas business leaders know how to run their businesses and can do so more productively without over-reaching regulations that stifle the economy and cost jobs,” said Jeff Moseley, CEO of the Association of Business. “We needed to move quickly and stop any bleeding that might occur from this ordinance … it's overreaching, and it's hard-hitting to small employers,” he said when they filed suit.
In the meantime, business leaders had hoped the Texas Legislature this year would ban cities from being able to establish such employment regulations. But during the 2019 legislative session, the issue was derailed when Lt. Gov. Patrick allowed it to become embroiled in the culture wars.
November 12, 2019
29th Economic Forum Addresses WF Business Concerns
Unemployment for Wichita Falls is sitting at three-percent, less than the state average which is at 3.5-percent. Now business owners are working to figure out how to not only recruit new employees to the city, but how to keep them here as well.
Business leaders and the Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce worked to address those challenges today at the Economic Forum. Local business owner Gonzalo Robles said he’s seen first hand both the problems with recruiting new employees and enticing people to lay down roots in Wichita Falls.
“With us, what is extremely important is letting know, especially local communities, that there are opportunities here,” said Robles, “they don’t have to go anywhere else.”
Moseley has spoken all over Texas during his time as the Texas Association of Business’ CEO, bringing advice on different employee incentives. Those could include higher wages, relocation incentives or increase workplace perks.
Texans Raise Bar on Taxing Income, Tucson No on ‘Sanctuary City’
Texans voted to make it harder to initiate a state income tax, while the vote remained too close to call on a sports betting ballot initiative in Colorado.
Texas doesn’t have an income tax, so the constitutional change makes the possibility of ever adding one even more remote. “Prop 4 helps prolong our low-tax, pro-growth expansion,” James Hines, senior vice president of the Texas Association of Business, said in an email.
Texas voters said yes to providing an additional $3 billion to extend state research funding at the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT), which is on track to run out of grant money in 2021.
October 7, 2019
Today: Cory Gardner Talking To Business Execs In Texas
The United States Senate Calendar lists September 30 through October 14 as a “State Work Period.”
Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) is indeed working in a state today, but it’s not Colorado. Gardner is in San Antonio, Texas talking to business leaders at a private luncheon hosted by the Texas Association of Business and several local chambers of commerce.
Joining Gardner is his colleague Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC). Like Gardner, Tillis faces a challenging reelection campaign next year. The Washington Post recently listed the pair as two of the three most vulnerable Republican incumbents. The senators also share a joint fundraising committee, “Gardner Tillis Victory,” which has raised over $96,000 for their campaigns. Both candidates are also listed on five additional joint fundraising committees, according to reporting by the Colorado Sun’s Sandra Fish.
September 14, 2019
USMCA Ratification Must Trump all Partisan Politicking
Recently we at the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce had the opportunity, together with the Texas Farm Bureau, the Texas Association of Business and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, to welcome U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz to Waco for a panel discussion on the USMCA — the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. Ratification of this newly renegotiated trade deal is critical to our economy in Waco, in Texas and across the United States.
As an organization committed to supporting the business community, our standard is what’s good for our area and what fosters sustainable economic growth. Free and fair trade that grows exports and expands access to foreign markets for locally made goods and services; spurs innovation; and boosts creation of good jobs meets that criteria. As Tom Kelly, director of the Baylor Center for Business and Economic Research, noted in the 2018 Economic Outlook for the Waco Metropolitan Statistical Area, while nearly every sector of our local economy exhibited positive output growth the year prior, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, trade accounted for 0.4% of the 3.9% growth in Waco’s real GDP (so about 10 percent) — this at a time when the national GDP rate of growth was just 1.7%.
While it’s sometimes difficult to get localized data, data aplenty at state and federal levels make a vibrant case for the importance of international trade to our state economy. Waco has several key industry sectors, so let’s take a moment to look at the agreement and some of its key provisions; then trade’s impact broadly; and then specifically what it means for a few of those target industry sectors.