Perry: 'Trade with Mexico is Vital to our Economy'
Perry Meets with Mexican Border Governors to Discuss Trade, Water, Border Security
Gov. Rick Perry today met with Mexican Governors Martinez of Coahuila, Hernandez of Tamaulipas, Herrera of Vera Cruz and Gov.-Elect Moreira of Coahuila to discuss border trade and security issues. The Governors were joined by Mayors Salinas of Mission and Cortez of McAllen.
"The international border that binds Texas and Mexico is truly the hub of commerce, opportunity and prosperity for the 21st century," Perry said. "Trade with Mexico is vital to our economy because the border region is the gateway to the future - not the back door to our state and nation."
Perry noted that last year Texas companies exported $46 billion in goods and services to Mexico, which is 40 percent of our net export total, and a 10 percent increase over what we exported to Mexico the year before. Additionally, $108 billion in goods and services were imported to Texas from Mexico.
"The fact is we have a special relationship with ties that are deeper than commercial ventures," Perry said. "Culture, history and family bind us together in a special way. Our prosperity and our very future are truly interdependent."
Perry expressed his gratitude that the water debt, which has accumulated over more than a decade and has been an issue of great contention between Texas and Mexico, has been resolved. As of last week, Rio Grande Valley growers have been repaid all the water they were owed.
"Water is essential to sustaining the economy of this region and it is a resource we must continue to work together to preserve as we share in its utilization," Perry said. "While some have suggested this is only the product of a rainy season, it is my hope that our detailed negotiations with our Mexican friends will ensure better treaty compliance even during times of drought."
Perry also said that it is important to maintain a secure border both at points of entry and between points of entry. He also pointed out that Al Qaeda and other terrorist and criminal organizations have sought to exploit our international border with Mexico and, in fact, the former head of Department of Homeland Security Intelligence testified that terrorist organizations view our international border as a prime opportunity to move people and weapons.
"Border security requires continued use of new technologies, additional capacity and added federal resources," Perry said. "I think we all have a shared stake in preventing the infiltration of terrorist organizations into this country and it is incumbent on our federal leaders to put the resources in place to address this issue, because the enforcement of border laws is a federal responsibility."
"Whether it is trade, water, or border security, important issues are before us, and we can only resolve them in a spirit of friendship and with frank dialogue," Perry said.