Texas Governor Greg Abbott heads to Mexico on Sunday for his first international trip since taking office earlier this year. The Governor’s stated purpose for the trip is to improve the working relationship between Texas and Mexico.
Relations have become strained for the border neighbors over the past year following the deployment of Texas National Guard members and an increased law enforcement presence along the border. The deployment came in response to Mexico allowing tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors and incomplete families to migrate across their country and flood into south Texas.
“As I travel to Mexico this week – my first international visit as governor of Texas – I look forward to continuing my dialogue with Mexican officials to improve bilateral relations, expand our long-standing trade partnership, discuss obvious challenges like immigration and water, and ultimately expand economic prosperity for families on both sides of the border,” Governor Abbott wrote in a statement obtained by Breitbart Texas.
The Governor said that Mexico is the top international trading partner with Texas. Texas leads the nation in exported goods, he wrote.
The Governor continued:
In 2014, Texas exported more than $100 billion in machinery, technology and other commodities to Mexico, about 35 percent of the state’s total exports. These exports sustain tens of thousands of small- and medium-sized businesses in Texas and more than 1.1 million jobs. We also imported more than $90 billion of goods from our southern neighbor last year.
Ties between Texas and Mexico began before we became a state. Today, about one-third of Texans trace their roots to Mexico, including my wife whose maternal grandparents immigrated to Texas from Monterrey. And the shared values of our families transcend geographic borders.
To advance Texas’ relationship with Mexico, my first appointment as governor was to name Carlos Cascos – a county judge from the Rio Grande Valley – as secretary of state of Texas. His first official international mission was a visit to Mexico City in April, and we were proud to host the first Texas visit by Mexico’s foreign affairs secretary since 2003.
I now look forward to continuing our dialogue, to cultivate an even stronger bond and create more opportunities to expand trade.
New jobs and new opportunity for growth abound on both sides of the border. As the Texas economy grows, more companies from Mexico are investing in Texas, building new facilities here in the Lone Star State and merging with or acquiring existing businesses.
With that growth comes the need for additional resources and infrastructure. Farmers and ranchers in Texas and Mexico share a critical need for adequate water for crop irrigation and cattle, and we’ve seen increased collaboration between our two countries in complying with water treaty requirements and better management of existing water assets. Over the next few years, we hope to see additional opportunities for water storage and improved planning for times of drought.
In addition, with Mexico’s oil and gas sector now opening to outside investors, Texas stands ready to help Mexico reduce energy costs. We are already seeing this promise in the planned expansion of natural gas pipelines from Texas into the industrial center of Monterrey and with the recent approval by the U.S. Department of Commerce for crude oil swaps with Mexico. But more can be done.
In building bridges to strengthen our economies, however, we cannot be naïve to the threat posed to the people of Texas and Mexico by transnational criminal enterprises, their violence and their gangs. Working together, we must end cross-border illegal activity including drug trafficking and the heinous crime of human trafficking to ensure greater security and opportunity for all.
Our history is strong. Our working relationship must be stronger. That is why Mexico is my first international visit as governor of Texas. Working together, we will build an even better future.
The Texas Governor heads to Mexico on Sunday for a three day trip where he will meet with Mexico’s embattled president, Enrique Peña Nieto. Breitbart Texas has reported extensively on the troubles facing the Mexican president including both its failing economy and the massive security problems involving kidnapping, murders, and corruption related to drug cartels.
On Saturday, Breitbart Texas’ Ildefonso Ortiz reported on the Mexican president’s state of the nation radio speech where he claimed progress in all areas despite the country’s failing economy and failed security strategy.
“Despite a long list of massacres, multiple cases of corruption at the highest levels, the escape of famed kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman and the impunity with which drug cartels are able to operate all over Mexico,” Ortiz reported, “President Enrique Pena Nieto continues to push an alternative view of prosperity, safety and progress.”
The states of Arizona and California have been trying to strengthen their relations with Mexico following the rise in tensions between Mexico and Texas, according to the Dallas Morning News. The Dallas newspaper also illustrated the tightrope that must be walked by Abbott this week as he attempts to both improve relations with our southern neighbor and keep the governor’s Texas conservative political base happy.
Abbott has continuously pledged to secure the border between Texas and Mexico.
Congressman Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) called Abbott’s trip to Mexico a turning point for Texas, the Dallas Morning News reported. “It worried me when you had California Governor Jerry Brown receiving delegations from Mexico led by President Peña Nieto in California, or when you had New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez working hand-in-hand with her counterpart in Chihuahua — and our previous governor [Rick Perry] patrolling the border in a speedboat with Sean Hannity wearing aviator glasses and shotguns,” O’Rourke told the Dallas newspaper.