At Opening of Huge New Texas Plant by Mexican Company, NAFTA Viewed as Real Guest of Honor

CLEBURNE — What began as a ribbon-cutting for a new investment by a Mexican company in Texas evolved into a lovefest for NAFTA when speaker after speaker Tuesday extolled the basic principles behind the embattled program.In remarks by everyone from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to Mexico’s secretary of foreign affairs, the focus was on how the decades-old pact, which is being renegotiated, has benefited the United States and especially Texas.The official occasion was the opening of a 150,000-square-foot state of the art production, manufacturing, and distribution facility built by Mexico’s largest pasta manufacturer, La Moderna.Abbot said he sees the opening of the company’s first-ever U.S. production plant as emblematic of the “multi-century relationship that has existed between Texas and Mexico” and the robust trade that has developed “to the benefit of Mexico, Texas and the United States.”“We want to ensure that that trading relationship continues,” he said.As a mariachi band provided the soundtrack for the celebration, Abbott joined Luis Videgaray Caso, Mexico’s secretary of foreign affairs, and executives with La Moderna, based in Toluca, Mexico.The $50 million facility is part of a Mexico-to-U.S. investment pipeline that stood at $34.4 billion in 2016, up nearly 40 percent since 2010.The projectFirst conceptualized five years ago, the Cleburne plant offers the growing pasta maker better access to U.S. markets and a hedge in case lumbering discussions about the fate of the North American Free Trade Agreement head south.“We’re very enthusiastic about this project,” said Luis Miguel Monroy, chairman and chief executive of La Moderna who was in Cleburne for the celebration. “Most of our raw materials will come from Mexico. We needed a place close to the border. Baltimore and places further east will not work as well as Dallas.”  Continue reading...

Copyright The Dallas Morning News
Contact Us