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 – 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.
WASHINGTON - Congressman Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15) issued the following statement in response to President Donald J. Trump’s comments that a full shutdown of the U.S. Southwest Border may be necessary to obtain funding for a border wall.