The Rio Grande Valley (RGV) plays a significant role in both the state and the nation’s economies. Home to nearly 1.4 million hardworking Texans, the business community of the RGV offers investment opportunities in international trade, a growing healthcare presence, and a manufacturing industry that keeps America and the world moving into the future.

However, higher taxes to fund federal spending packages will place additional financial burdens on the economy and our workforce.

Texas has once again proved to be our nation’s largest exporting state since 2000.  In 2020 we sent nearly $280 billion worth of goods abroad, of which $203 billion came from Texas manufacturers in the form of motor vehicles, pieces of technology like computers, and materials such as metal and other minerals. The RGV continues to play an integral role in trade, due to our 12 bridge crossings and four maritime ports that allow international trade to flourish, provide good-paying jobs and provide the resources to build the infrastructure that supports our growing towns and communities.

For those that call South Texas home, a decision by policymakers in Washington to increase the Global Low Intangible Tax Income (GILTI) rate to 15% would be especially dangerous, putting our multinational corporations and the nearly 267,000 jobs they create for the manufacturing industry at risk.

Increasing the global tax minimum could not only harm American businesses’ ability to compete with their counterparts in other countries due to rising costs of operations, but it could directly put the paychecks of those right here in Texas in harm’s way. A study from the Texas Association of Business shows that an increase in the GILTI rate could potentially lead to the loss of upwards of 100,000 good-paying jobs for Texans.

Decisions like these by Congress may also impact other sectors of our region’s economy, most notably including the healthcare and biomedical, and architecture, engineering and construction industries which provide $13.7 billion and $12.9 billion in economic impact for the region this past year.

American businesses provide much more for communities than what meets the eye. In 2021, the architecture, engineering and construction industries within the RGV supported approximately 72,160 jobs and accrued $478.6 million in state and local taxes.

These are the same businesses that sponsor our community gatherings, provide jobs for our family members and friends, and produce the goods and services we need to make modern life possible.

In a time when many of our communities are still trying to build back from the economic impact caused by the global pandemic, now is not the time to use the back of our business community to fund spending bills.

Editor’s Note: The above guest column was penned by Sergio Contreras, MBA, president and CEO of the Rio Grande Valley Partnership. The column appears in The Rio Grande Guardian International News Service with the permission of the author. Contreras can be reached by email via: [email protected].

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