Senator Cruz underscores South Texas dependency on trade with Mexico

4 min read

In a collaborative effort, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz and fellow lawmakers have emphasized the significance of trade with Mexico, highlighting its impact not just on South Texas but on the entire Lone Star State. In a recent letter addressed to Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken, Cruz, along with senators and representatives, stressed that Mexico stands as one of the United States’ crucial trading partners.

Cruz expressed, “The lifeblood of South Texas is the roughly $800 billion in goods that cross the border with Mexico, supporting jobs throughout the Lone Star State.” This sentiment underscores the economic vitality that cross-border trade brings to the region.

The focal point of the letter urged Secretary Blinken to swiftly implement a key provision within the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2024. This provision aims to advance several international bridge projects in Texas, enhancing trade infrastructure.

The highlighted projects include the World Trade Bridge Expansion Project in Laredo, Webb County; the Flor de Mayo International Bridge in Cameron County; the Laredo 4/5 International Bridge in Webb County; and the Puerto Verde Global Trade Bridge in Maverick County. Additionally, there is anticipation for the expansion of the Colombia International Bridge in Laredo, with a permit request expected soon.

Read more:

Senators Cruz and Cornyn, along with Representatives Gonzalez, Cuellar, De La Cruz, Gonzales, and Castro, collectively emphasized the urgency for the State Department to adhere to the requirements of Section 5414 of the NDAA. They stressed the need for prompt recommendations to the president for granting the necessary presidential permits for these critical international bridge projects.

“It is vital that the president approves the permits expeditiously, as it will lead to more jobs, improved supply chains, and enhanced relations with Mexico,” the legislators wrote in their Jan. 17, 2024 letter. Their call for efficiency underscores the potential economic benefits that these projects could bring to the Texas border region.

Sen. Cruz and Rep. Cuellar played instrumental roles in streamlining the process for issuing presidential permits for international bridges. Their language added to the NDAA for Fiscal Year 2024 removed the requirement of obtaining environmental clearance before initiating the permitting process. This change allows the permit to be issued contingent on completing environmental clearance, significantly reducing the timeline for securing a presidential permit.

Support for this streamlined process has come from various quarters, including the Texas Association of Business, the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Laredo Motor Carriers Association, the Border Trade Alliance, the American Trucking Association, the Texas Trucking Association, and the Texas International Produce Association.

In their letter to Secretary Blinken, the legislators reiterated that Mexico is one of the United States’ most crucial trading partners, with nearly $800 billion in goods exchanged in 2022. They highlighted how the proposed international bridges would expand this trade, creating jobs and economic opportunities in the Texas border region while improving supply chains across the country.

Sen. Cruz emphasized, “Now that our bipartisan legislation to expedite the permitting of South Texas cross-border bridges has become law, it is critical that the Biden administration swiftly implements this provision and grants the presidential permits for these critical projects.”

Rep. Cuellar echoed this urgency, stating, “Laredo is the nation’s busiest port of entry, and recent changes to the Presidential permitting process will ensure that proposed construction projects at the World Trade Bridge, Colombia Solidarity Bridge, and other bridges along the US-Mexico border avoid unnecessary construction delays.”

In conclusion, the collaborative efforts of lawmakers underscore the economic importance of cross-border trade with Mexico and the potential benefits that streamlined international bridge projects could bring to Texas. The call for prompt action reflects a commitment to enhancing economic opportunities, job creation, and strengthening ties with Mexico.

You May Also Like

More From Author

+ There are no comments

Add yours