Today, Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28), Chairman of the Pro-Trade Caucus, and Congressman Francisco "Quico" Canseco (TX-23) announced their support for the decision to extend Mexico an invitation to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations. The TPP is a free trade agreement that seeks to facilitate U.S. trade engagement in the Asia-Pacific region's huge and growing markets. In addition to the United States, the countries currently negotiating the TPP are Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
"Mexico is our neighbor, our second largest export market, and one of our most important trade partners. Mexico's inclusion in the TPP will boost the agreement's economic importance and reap benefits for the U.S. and other TPP members," said Congressman Cuellar. "As a representative of the U.S.-Mexico border region, I have seen firsthand how closely tied our two countries are, and Mexico's entry into the TPP will strengthen these ties by increasing cooperation between our two countries and improving our region's security and economic competitiveness. I am grateful to Ambassador Kirk and the Administration for recognizing the need to incorporate this significant world economy into this landmark trade agreement."
"Mexico is one of the United States' most significant trading partners. Every day, over a billion dollars in commerce flows across the U.S.-Mexico border between our two nations, and is responsible for millions of jobs here in the United States," said Congressman Canseco. "As the representative of a district that contains almost 800 miles of U.S.-Mexico border, I understand the positive impact increased trade between the U.S and Mexico would have on job creation here in the United States. The inclusion of Mexico in the TPP will yield significant economic opportunities for Mexico and broaden the trading relationship between our two nations, which will in turn yield significant benefits for jobs and the economy here in the United States."
Cuellar and Canseco have led efforts to have Mexico included in TPP negotiations and have worked to secure support toward this goal from both sides of the aisle. In March, Cuellar and Canseco--along with 26 other lawmakers--sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk that urged the Administration to support Mexico's inclusion in the TPP, citing Mexico's vital role as a trade partner to the United States and in the global economy.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce reports that trade with Mexico accounts for approximately 6 million American jobs, and increased trade with Mexico has the potential to further boost job creation in the United States. According to the Secretariat of the Economy of Mexico, Mexico is the second largest export market for the United States, accounting for nearly $200 billion in consumption of U.S. goods in 2010. In this same year, U.S. exports to Mexico increased $34 billion, which helped promote GDP growth.
The TPP is a key element of the United States' efforts to support the creation and retention of high-quality jobs for Americans by increasing exports to the vibrant economies of the Asia-Pacific region. The United States and its TPP partners are determined to expeditiously complete a comprehensive, next-generation agreement. The TPP countries have already completed 12 rounds of negotiations. The next round of negotiations is scheduled to take place July 2 -- 10 in San Diego, California.