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Featured, from left: Rep. Matt Schaefer, R-Tyler; Rep. Mike Lang, R-Grandbury; Rachel Wetsel, Clerk, House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence; and Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg. Canales was serving as Chair of the House Criminal Jurisprudence Subcommittee on Asset Forfeiture during its meeting in Austin on Wednesday, March 29, 2017.

Photograph By HOUSE PHOTOGRAPHY

Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, along with a bipartisan supermajority of the Texas House of Representatives, wants President Trump and Congress to avoid any actions that would threaten almost $92.5 billion in annual Texas exports to Mexico, which is the largest trading partner for the Lone Star State. Exports are goods or services sent to another country for sale. Mexico’s relationship to Texas is so important to state lawmakers that they want to make sure their federal counterparts in Washington D.C. also don’t jeopardize hundreds of thousands of Texas jobs because of negative stereotypes or ignorance of Mexico’s roles in creating jobs and prosperity for all Americans. Through the use of a legislative measure, House Resolution 1025 by Canales, the Texas House of Representatives is urging the nation’s top elected leaders to recognize the huge significance of trade between Texas and Mexico. “As Texans, we understand the importance of the Texas-Mexico relationship to the economic success of state. 382,000 Texas jobs are supported by trade with Mexico” said Canales. “Should this relationship be impacted negatively, the social and economic security of the Texas border region would be devastating.” HR 1025, which is being sent to President Trump and Congress, calls on national leaders – many who are unfamiliar with U.S. international commerce involving Mexico – “to fully evaluate the impact of proposed federal trade policies, legislation, executive orders, and other actions on Texas-Mexico commerce.”

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International trade with Mexico is vital for state’s and American economies and 382,000 Texas jobs, Rep. Canales’ legislation, approved by House of Representatives, tells President and Congress

By DAVID A. DÍAZ
Legislativemedia@aol.com

Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, along with a bipartisan supermajority of the Texas House of Representatives, wants President Trump and Congress to avoid any actions that would threaten almost $92.5 billion in annual Texas exports to Mexico, which is the largest trading partner for the Lone Star State.

Exports are goods or services sent to another country for sale.

Mexico’s relationship to Texas is so important to state lawmakers that they want to make sure their federal counterparts in Washington D.C. also don’t jeopardize hundreds of thousands of Texas jobs because of negative stereotypes or ignorance of Mexico’s roles in creating jobs and prosperity for all Americans.

Through the use of a legislative measure, House Resolution 1025 by Canales, the Texas House of Representatives is urging the nation’s top elected leaders to recognize the huge significance of trade between Texas and Mexico.

“As Texans, we understand the importance of the Texas-Mexico relationship to the economic success of state. 382,000 Texas jobs are supported by trade with Mexico” said Canales. “Should this relationship be impacted negatively, the social and economic security of the Texas border region would be devastating.”

HR 1025, which is being sent to President Trump and Congress, calls on national leaders – many who are unfamiliar with U.S. international commerce involving Mexico – “to fully evaluate the impact of proposed federal trade policies, legislation, executive orders, and other actions on Texas-Mexico commerce.”

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) established a free-trade zone in North America; it was signed in 1992 by Canada, Mexico, and the United States and took effect on Jan. 1, 1994. NAFTA immediately lifted tariffs on the majority of goods produced by the signatory nations. It also called for the gradual elimination, over a period of 15 years, of most remaining barriers to cross-border investment and to the movement of goods and services among the three countries. ( https://www.cbp.gov/trade/nafta )

HR 1025 received overwhelming support on Thursday, May 4, 2017, from Democrats and Republicans in the House of Representatives, with 130 Yeas, 13 Nays, and 2 Present Not Voting.

HR 1025, which also featured joint authors Rep. Mark Keough, R-The Woodlands, Rep. Alfonso “Poncho” Nevárez, D-Eagle Pass, Rep. R.D. “Bobby” Guerra, D-McAllen, and Rep. Richard Raymond, D-Laredo, comes as President Trump recently stated he is willing to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement rather than end it.

The legislator who files a bill and guides it through the legislative process is the author (also called the primary author). The Senate allows multiple primary authors for each bill or resolution. The House of Representatives allows only one primary author, the house member whose signature appears on the original measure and on the copies filed with the chief clerk.

Both chambers also have coauthors, and the house of representatives has joint authors.

On Thursday, April 27, 2017, during a meeting at the White House between President Trump and President Macri of Argentina, Trump was asked by reporters whether he still intended to dismantle NAFTA, as he had considered during his presidential campaign.

Trump’s remarks, in a transcript posted online by the White House, follow:

“I was going to terminate NAFTA as of two or three days from now. The President of Mexico, who I have a very, very good relationship, called me, and also the Prime Minister of Canada, who I have a very good relationship. And I like both of these gentlemen very much. They called me and they said, rather than terminating NAFTA, could you please renegotiate? I like them very much. I respect their countries very much. The relationship is very special.

“‘And I said, I will hold on the termination; let’s see if we can make it a fair deal. Because NAFTA has been a horrible deal for the United States. It’s been very good for Canada, it’s been very good for Mexico, but it’s been horrible for the United States.

“And if you check my campaign – any of my speeches – I said, I’ll either renegotiate or I’ll terminate. So they asked me to renegotiate – I will. And I think we’ll be successful in the renegotiation, which, frankly, would be good because it would be simpler. But we have to make a deal that’s fair for the United States. “They understand that. And so I decided rather than terminating NAFTA, which would be a pretty big shock to the system, we will renegotiate.

“Now, if I’m unable to make a fair deal, if I’m unable to make a fair deal for the United States, meaning a fair deal for our workers and our companies, I will terminate NAFTA. But we’re going to give renegotiation a good, strong shot.”

Mexican imports to Texas and the U.S. also are a key part of international trade that helps Texas and the U.S., Canales noted.

“I think it is very important that we do not always think of imports as a negative,” contended Canales, who also is an attorney. “Industries have found that by relying on Mexican suppliers, they can improve the productivity and competitiveness of their businesses.”

Imports are goods or services sent from another country for sale in Texas and the U.S.

“Trade with Mexico has allowed for the creation of a highly competitive regional manufacturing
platform that, in addition to growing exports to Mexico, has also increased the availability of competitively priced imports of inputs for U.S. businesses,” Canales explained. “In fact, U.S. industry utilizes more than $100 billion dollars of imported Mexican inputs (Mexican companies also use more than $100 billion in U.S. inputs each year), which improve the competitiveness of the products produced by U.S. companies.”

Inputs of an industry are the goods and services (including energy, raw materials, semi-finished goods, and services that are purchased from all sources) that are used in the production process to produce other goods or services rather than for final consumption. It equals the industry’s gross output (consisting of sales or receipts and other operating income, commodity taxes, and inventory change) less value added (consisting of compensation of employees, taxes on production and imports less subsidies, and gross operating surplus).

Gus García, Executive Director of Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, pointed out that the Rio Grande Valley’s economy was not hit as hard as other parts of the nation during the 2008-2009 recession, according to the Rio Grande Guardian in its Wednesday, March 22, 2o17 story titled “Canales: South Texas is not a War Zone, it’s a Trade Zone”.

The Edinburg EDC is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council.

The Edinburg EDC Executive Director said South Texas was spared some of the most serious economic downfalls during the so-called Great Recession due in part to trade with Mexico and international tourism.

“We have looked at this extensively and we have been able to identify over the last ten years, despite the Peso devaluation, in spite of the market and the economy, that the growth of the Rio Grande Valley was not been impacted by those anomalies that took place in the economy. We have been able to consistently grow,” García told the online newspaper.

“I think the reason why we consistently grow, not only in population but in retail sales taxes and permits and construction, commercial and residential, is because of our proximity to the border. The sustained growth we have experienced over the last 15 or 20 years is because we are on the international border,” García was quoted by the Rio Grande Guardian. “Yes, we have grown in population, but when you have that much trade crossing the international border, you are going to have growth.”

The Edinburg EDC Board of Directors is comprised of Mayor Richard García as President, Harvey Rodríguez, Jr. as Vice President, Elías Longoria, Jr. as Secretary/Treasurer, and Richard Rupert and Dr. Peter Dabrowski as Members.

Mayor Richard García and Edinburg EDC Executive Director Gus García. are not related.

House Resolution 1025 by Canales follows:

R E S O L U T I O N

WHEREAS, Trade between Texas and Mexico plays a vital role in the economic prosperity of the Lone Star State; and

WHEREAS, Each year, Texas sends about 36 percent of the state’s total exports to Mexico, and in 2015, exports to Mexico totaled nearly $92.5 million; goods exported to Mexico include computer and electronic products, petroleum and coal products, chemicals, machinery, and transportation equipment, all of which are produced by industries that supply hundreds of thousands of jobs to the Lone Star State; and

WHEREAS, Since the ratification of the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1994, the export of U.S. goods to Mexico has risen 325 percent, while imports into the United States from Mexico have increased 458 percent; in 2012, Americans spent $277.5 billion for goods from Mexico, and Mexico is America’s third-largest supplier of oil, after Canada and Saudi Arabia; additionally, nearly half of the tomatoes and two-thirds of the mangoes consumed in the United States come from Mexico; and

WHEREAS, The importance of this trade to Texas border cities, counties, and businesses is significant, and disruption to international commerce would be economically devastating; and

WHEREAS, Mexico is the largest trading partner of Texas and the third-largest of the United States, and it is imperative that our federal government take proactive steps to strengthen ties with Mexico and build bridges of economic opportunity that will benefit Texas and the entire nation; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the House of Representatives of the 85th Texas Legislature hereby urge the United States Congress to recognize the importance of trade between Texas and Mexico and foster international commerce; and, be it further

RESOLVED, That the federal executive and legislative branches be urged to fully evaluate the impact of proposed federal trade policies, legislation, executive orders, and other actions on Texas-Mexico commerce; and, be it further

RESOLVED, That the chief clerk of the house forward official copies of this resolution to the president of the United States, to the president of the Senate and the speaker of the House of Representatives of the United States Congress, and to all the members of the Texas delegation to Congress with the request that this resolution be entered in the Congressional Record as a memorial to the Congress of the United States of America.

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Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, represents House District 40 in Hidalgo County, which includes portions or all of Edinburg, Elsa, Faysville, La Blanca, Linn, Lópezville, McAllen, Pharr and Weslaco. He may be reached at his House District Office in Edinburg at (956) 383-0860 or at the Capitol at (512) 463-0426.

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