Members of El Paso’s State Legislative Delegation again spoke out against the recent Executive Orders signed by President Donald Trump.
On Friday, via a joint news release, members harshly criticized the President’s action and provided economic numbers to bolster their position. Their statement, in full, is below.
Another day, another foolishly destructive action by the new administration. Wednesday, it was to target immigrants and border communities. Now, in order to do that, the President targets consumers by proposing a trade war with Texas’ biggest trading partner, Mexico. Texas will pay the price, and El Paso will be on the front lines.
Make no mistake. We all benefit from trade with Mexico. From vehicles to electronic products to energy to fresh food, Mexico is one of our country’s largest trading partners, and Texas’ largest. This action does not help Americans or Texans, and will both hurt workers while trickling down to consumers.
It seems yet another reckless reaction to a perceived personal slight – in this case, the cancellation by Mexico’s president of a meeting – which was the hallmark of his campaign and now of his fledgling administration. A trade war with Mexico will hurt Texas more than most, but it will hurt all Americans. This could be catastrophic.
Just some of the relevant numbers:
- Texas dominates U.S.-Mexico border crossings. In 2013, 3.5 million trucks crossed Texas’ border with Mexico, more than into all other southern border states combined. As of 2013, the state’s largest export market was Mexico, with the $100.9 billion representing 36.1 percent of the state’s $280 billion in merchandise exports [http://www.expressnews.com/business/local/article/Texas-leads-nation-with-record-export-numbers-5804604.php]. Nationally, U.S. goods and services trade with Mexico totaled an estimated $583.6 billion in 2015.[https://ustr.gov/countries-regions/Americas/mexico]
- Trade between the U.S. and Mexico directly supports six million jobs in the U.S. alone. Jobs created as a result of trade with Mexico are widely scattered throughout the U.S., with nearly 700,000 in California, over 450,000 in Texas, more than 200,000 in each of five states – New York, Florida, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Ohio – and another 22 states with more than 100,000 jobs directly supported by trade with Mexico. [https://www.wilsoncenter.org/publication/working-together-economic-ties-between-the-united-states-and-mexico ]
- Mexico is the largest trading partner for five states (California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and New Hampshire) and the second largest for 17 more around the country. These span the country from coast to coast and top to bottom, including Arkansas, Iowa, Colorado, Rhode Island, and Michigan, and based around a wide variety of goods such as, chemicals, transportation equipment, plastics and rubbers, foods, paper products, and electronics.
- Tourism: According to the state’s travel office, preliminary estimates show that nearly 8 million travelers from Mexico visited Texas in 2015, generating $4.7 billion in direct spending. Texas welcomed 23 percent of all Mexican air arrivals to the United States, or roughly one out of every four visitors. Travel from Mexico to Texas is projected to increase by 21 percent by 2020.
State Sen. José Rodríguez represents Texas Senate District 29; State Rep. Joe Pickett represents Texas House District 79; State Rep. Joseph Moody represents Texas House District 78; State Rep. Mary Gonzalez represents Texas House District 75; State Rep. Cesar Blanco represents Texas House District 76; and State Rep. Lina Ortega represents Texas House District 77.