In today’s competitive global society, having a positive partnership with our neighbors is imperative. Congressman Gonzalez believes that a close relationship with Mexico and Canada is the bedrock of a healthy, prosperous economy.
In 1994, The United States, Canada, and Mexico entered a trilateral trade accord called the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The bloc was intended to increase trade and investment between the three countries by eliminating tariffs and other barriers. NAFTA helped to foster economic growth within the continent and Mexico and Canada became our nation’s top two export countries.
Texas lies at the center of the trade agreement, geographically and commercially. NAFTA allowed for over two decades of growth for South Texas businesses and communities, and expanded markets for U.S. farmers, ranchers, and manufacturers. The trade deal helped to vitalize connections between the partner countries, and spurred economic development in South Texas, and across the nation.
Congressman Gonzalez recognizes the significance of NAFTA and the role it has played in bolstering the American and Texas economies. Nevertheless, there is always room for improvement. After over twenty years, the North American Free Trade Agreement needed to be updated to reflect the current needs and objectives of the millions of Americans whose jobs and businesses depend on the critical trilateral trade pact. The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) was signed by the partner countries on November 30, 2018 as a successor to NAFTA.
Since taking office in the 115th Congress, Congressman Gonzalez has been at the forefront of protecting and improving American trade relationships. In 2017, Congressman Gonzalez and other members of Congress met with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to discuss the modernization of NAFTA and the importance of cross-border trade for the region.
U.S. alliances with neighbors to the north and south is paramount to the 15th District of Texas and must remain a top priority. Congressman Gonzalez has already begun cultivating a strong relationship with incoming Mexican officials. Earlier this year, during a bipartisan congressional delegation to Mexico and Guatemala, Congressman Gonzalez met with Mexican President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s Chief of Staff and Cabinet members to discuss, among other things, the significance of cross-border trade.
Congressman Gonzalez will continue to approach any impending trade agreements with cautious optimism to ensure that jobs, business, and trade opportunities in Central and South Texas remain stronger than ever.
More on NAFTA/USMCA
WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15) issued a statement following the passage of H.R. 132, the North America Development Bank (NADB) Improvement Act of 2019 through the Financial Services Committee.
WASHINGTON – On Tuesday, Congressman Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15) sent letters to Mexican Ambassador to the United States Martha Bárcena and Secretary of Security and Civilian Protection Alfonso Durazo urging Mexico to create a timeline for the implementation of the Safe Highway program and asked for an assurance that Highway 40, which is part of the Safe Highway program, and a connection to U.S. – Mexico international bridges, is secured before a vote for the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) is considered in Congress.
WASHINGTON - Congressman Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15) and David Schweikert (AZ-6) co-led a bipartisan, bicameral letter urging the Trump Administration to exclude a “seasonality” provision from the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
In the letter, Congressman Gonzalez and his colleagues cautioned the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) against including a seasonality provision as it would have a damaging effect on border state economies.
WASHINGTON – Congressmen Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15), Henry Cuellar (TX-28), and Filemon Vela (TX-34) today issued the following statements in response to the Administration’s border policies that have inhibited cross-border trade and travel in South Texas. On Wednesday, the congressmen spoke with incoming U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Deputy Commissioner Robert Perez about staffing levels at Ports of Entry (POEs) and the reassignment of 750 CBP officers.
WASHINGTON – Congressman Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15) today issued the following statement in response to reports that international bridges in the Rio Grande Valley are facing extensive delays due to the reassignment of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) personnel and the President’s recent threat to close the border.
“U.S. Customs and Border Protection personnel already face challenges in how quickly it processes trade on a day-to-day basis across multiple international bridges in the Rio Grande Valley and along the U.S. Southwest Border.
WASHINGTON – Congressman Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15) issued the following statement in response to tonight’s State of the Union address from President Donald J. Trump.
“It is important to note that now – more than ever – is the time for the Administration to make a good faith effort to find common ground with Congress as we each outline our visions for the future of this country. No, I do not agree with President Trump on every policy or approach, but I have always been willing to come to the table in the name of bipartisanship.
WASHINGTON – Congressman Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15) issued the following statement in support of the congressional conference committee seeking long-term funding solutions for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
This morning, President Donald J. Trump reiterated his request for a physical barrier, the same request that caused the longest government shutdown – 35 days – in U.S. history.
WASHINGTON – Congressman Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15) today announced his subcommittee assignments for the 116th Congress. The congressman serves on the House Financial Services Committee and House Foreign Affairs Committee.
As a member of the House Financial Services Committee, Congressman Gonzalez will serve on:
WASHINGTON – Congressman Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15) issued the following statement in response to President Donald J. Trump’s announcement to join efforts to reopen the federal government, ending the longest-ever government shutdown – 35 days – in history. The continuing resolution will extend government funding for three weeks until February 15, 2019, and provide backpay to federal employees who have missed paychecks since December 22, 2018.
WASHINGTON – Congressmen Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15), Henry Cuellar (TX-28), and Filemon Vela (TX-34) today issued the following statements, laying out their mission for the 116th Congress.