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El Paso Forum Highlights Heightened Importance of Cross-Border Trade for the Texas Economy

Last week, Texas Association of Business (TAB) President and CEO Glenn Hamer addressed the El Paso Chamber’s Border Trade & Economic Forum, focusing on critical role of cross-border trade, not only at the national level but specifically for Texas, which serves as the centrally located economic engine of the United States and North America. Led by dynamic President and CEO Andrea Hutchins, the El Paso Chamber is demonstrating outstanding leadership in bringing attention to the impact of trade on our economy, and promoting innovative solutions to facilitate even more cross-border commerce.

Texas's economic well-being is closely intertwined with its relationships with neighboring countries, particularly Mexico and Canada, which currently rank as our largest and second largest trading partners, respectively. This underscores the importance of continuing to foster strong ties with our North American counterparts, especially considering the growing trend of companies ‘nearshoring’ their operations to the Texas-Mexico border region.

Our partnership with Mexico is at the heart of Texas’ success. As our southern neighbor, Mexico isn't just a trading partner, it's an integral part of our economic and cultural fabric.

Trade between Mexico and Texas has surged to a record high of $285 billion and continues to grow steadily, with El Paso playing a pivotal role as an international trade hub and one of the biggest binational communities in North America. The city also emerged as the fifth-largest manufacturing center in the Western Hemisphere, with more than 500 manufacturing and related facilities in the El Paso-Juarez-Las Cruces Borderplex region.

The Hunt Institute at the University of Texas – El Paso, in particular, has produced outstanding analysis on key economic indicators that underscore the importance of enhancing the efficiency of cross-border trade between the U.S. and Mexico. For the El Paso region alone, for example, a 10 minute reduction in wait times at commercial border crossings leads to an additional cargo value of more than $3.8 million per month:

Looking beyond the numbers, it's crucial that we recognize the transformative power of binational collaboration with Mexico. This isn't just about business – it's about building bridges through legal trade that can connect communities, create new opportunities, and shape the futures of the talented and skilled workforces that live on both sides of the border.

We are proud to celebrate the partnerships that sustain us and chart a course towards a brighter future—for Texas, for Mexico, and for all who call the vibrant border region home.



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