McALLEN, RGV – Governor Greg Abbott says there will be a big announcement this summer about Texas strengthening its relations with Mexico even further.
Mexico is already Texas’ No. 1 trading partner, by some distance. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Texas’ exports to Mexico in 2014 were valued at $102,635 million. This represented 35.5 percent of its total exports.
Appearing on News Talk 710 KURV’s Morning News program, Abbott said: “I don’t want to announce anything yet. You will hear announcements coming up this summer but I will tell you this. Texas is really building bridges with our neighbor in Mexico. And we are strengthening that relationship, which is very important, from both a geographic as well as an economic standpoint.”
Abbott made his comment in answer to a question by show presenter Tim Sullivan about the Governor’s selection, in January, of Carlos Cascos as Texas’ point person for Mexican affairs.
“How are you liking your Secretary of State so far?” Sullivan asked.
“He is fabulous. We are talking about Carlos Cascos, who was the county judge of Cameron County. As a person, he is such a genuine, kind, fun, thoughtful, effective individual. Having run a county such as Cameron County, he knows how government works. He has been around. He is smart. But, also, he is doing something very helpful. He has been traveling across the state of Texas and across the border. He has made trips to Mexico,” Abbott said.
The State of Texas has an office in Mexico City. It opened in 1971. Its International Business and Recruitment office made this statement about Texas’ relations with Mexico:
“Texas and Mexico are intertwined by history, geography and a common purpose. We share a 1,254 mile border and are also connected by commerce, as Mexico is our number one trading partner. Relationships of family, friends and free enterprise flow across the border to the benefit of both entities, and roughly one-third of Texas’ 26 million citizens can trace their lineage to our southern neighbor.”
The IBR added: “Trade with Mexico is vital to the state’s economy and an important component of our efforts to enhance the quality of life of Texans living in the border region. Texas is dedicated to supporting an environment of job growth, opportunity, and prosperity for the people of the Lone Star State.”
Abbott tasked Cascos with traveling to Mexico as his first official international mission in recognition of the importance of the Texas-Mexico relationship. Cascos, along with a small delegation from his office, paid a visit to Mexico City in April.
“It has been a pleasure to visit with Mexican officials and have important conversations about how we can continue to improve the rapport between Texas and Mexico and strengthen the historical, cultural and economic bonds between our state and our Southern neighbor,” Cascos said the conclusion of the visit.
“I thank Secretary of Foreign Affairs José Antonio Meade Kuribreña, Undersecretary for North American Affairs Dr. Sergio Alcocer, U.S. Ambassador E. Anthony Wayne, the government and people of Mexico for their hospitality this week, and I look forward to continuing this valuable dialogue.”
During the delegation’s visit, Meade hosted Cascos at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. According to Abbott’s office they discussed “issues fundamental to Texas’ and Mexico’s shared border and robust trading partnership.” During the meeting, Abbott’s office said, Cascos delivered a formal invitation from Governor Abbott to Secretary Meade to visit Texas.
Cascos and the Texas delegation also met with “various representatives at SENER, Mexico’s Ministry of Energy, to discuss Mexico’s energy reform initiatives, regulatory structure and mechanisms of cooperation between Mexican and Texas businesses,” Abbott’s office stated. Additionally, U.S. Ambassador to Mexico E. Anthony Wayne hosted Cascos and the Texas delegation for an introductory meeting at the U.S. Embassy.
In his interview on KURV, Abbott added: “He (Cascos) is doing a fantastic job for us, with regard to the border region but also with regard to economic development across the state of Texas and importantly in the Rio Grande Valley and El Paso.”
Editor’s Note: In the main picture accompanying this story are Mexico Secretary of Foreign Affairs José Antonio Meade Kuribreña, and Texas Secretary of State Carlos Cascos.