With NAFTA, Mexico and the U.S. Build Things Together

Since NAFTA was signed 24 years ago in my hometown of San Antonio, U.S. trade with Mexico and Canada has more than tripled, and it is no question that Texas has benefited the most. With easy access to two of the busiest U.S. ports of entry via land and sea - Laredo and Houston - it is no surprise that Texas exported more than any other state in 2014, almost $300 billion-worth to countries worldwide. Across the U.S., all but ten states depend on Canada or Mexico as their largest export markets.While "free trade" has been blamed for job losses in many areas of the nation, as of 2014, nearly five million jobs across the U.S. depend on trade with Mexico. These jobs are not just in Texas. In 2015, Mexico was the top first or second export destination for 30 out of 50 states.The trade partnership with Mexico is the lifeblood of many communities along the Texas-Mexico border, including El Paso, Del Rio and Eagle Pass. Take for instance Laredo, the sixth largest metropolitan port complex in the U.S. by value. NAFTA is responsible for 99 percent ($121 billion dollars) of the trade that flows through each year. These goods, more than half of all U.S.-Mexico surface trade, flow straight up and down the NAFTA superhighway of Interstate 35 to San Antonio and beyond. In 2015, Texas-Mexico trade amounted to approximately $94.5 billion, making Mexico Texas' largest trading partner, surpassing the next four largest combined - Canada, Brazil, China and South Korea.  Continue reading...

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