McALLEN, RGV – Rio Grande International Trade Day in Austin will be on March 30, three border chambers of commerce have announced.

On that day, resolutions in support of international trade will be introduced by state Rep. Terry Canales on the floor of the House and by state Sens. Eddie Lucio and Juan Hinojosa in the Senate. Organizers hope other legislators from across Texas will co-author the resolution.

State Rep. Terry Canales

An as yet unnamed keynote speaker will explain why international trade is important, not just to the border region but to Texas in general, at a luncheon at the state Capitol on March 30. And, participants will visit the offices of state legislators and state agency leaders to extol the virtues of international trade.

The three chambers of commerce organizing the event are the RGV Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Lower Valley Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and Camara de Comercio Internacional, in association with the Rio Grande Guardian.

The chambers are organizing a bus trip to the state Capitol, departing Harlingen and McAllen in the afternoon of March 29. The three Valley chambers say they are reaching out to other chambers across Texas to join the event.

Cynthia Sakulenzki

“Everyone living along the border realizes the importance of international trade. But it is not just the border that benefits, it is Texas as a whole. International trade is crucial to our economy. It supports hundreds of thousands of jobs in Texas and of course, for us, when we talk about trade we are talking about Mexico, our No. 1 trading partner,” said Cynthia Sakulenzki president of the RGV Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. “We feel this should be recognized by our state legislators.”

Tony Gutierrez, president of the Lower Valley Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, said: “It is an economic theory that a new dollar that comes into an economy will multiply seven times and will help the smallest of businesses. Plus, trade creates friendships.”

House and Senate Resolutions


A resolution drawn up by the three chambers of commerce urges the federal executive and legislative branches to “fully evaluate the impact of proposed federal trade policies, legislation, executive order and other actions on Texas-Mexico commerce.”

Click on the link below to view the resolution:

Resolution to be introduced in Texas House and Senate

International Trade statistics


Carlos Marin, chairman of CAMCOIN, pointed to these trade statistics:

  • Canada and Mexico are the U.S.’s top two export markets, and two of the nation’s top three total trading partners;
  • Texas exports to Mexico have increased by 363.8 percent since NAFTA went into effect;
  • Last year, trade activity through the Lone Star State’s 29 ports of entry supported more than one and a half million Texas jobs;
  • The five ports in Laredo alone account for more than $52 billion of the state’s gross domestic product (GDP), with 14,000 trucks passing through daily;
  • In 2015, El Paso was the 12th largest exporter in the United States, with $24.6 billion worth of goods exported;
  • Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge facilitates about $30 billion in trade a year;
  • More than $236 billion worth of goods and services were exported to Mexico in 2015
  • Nearly $295 billion worth of goods and services were imported from Mexico in 2015
  • Texas posted merchandise exports of $94.5 billion to Mexico in 2015, representing 37.6 percent of the state’s total merchandise exports.

Quotes about International Trade


“As our largest export market, Mexico has an extraordinary economic relationship with Texas. Trade with our southern neighbor supports hundreds of thousands of jobs in my state and provides more goods at a better price for Texas families. More than a third of all Texas merchandise is exported to Mexico – meaning our farmers, ranchers and small businesses have found no shortage of customers south of the border too. This explosion in trade for our state has catapulted Texas to the top of exporting states in the country for more than a decade now. ”

– John Cornyn, U.S. Senator, R-Texas.
(Rio Grande Guardian, March 2, 2017)

“Texas being the tenth largest economy in the world, Mexico being the 12th largest, you put us together and suddenly we are the sixth largest economy in the world, Texas and Mexico,”

– Rolando B. Pablos, Texas Secretary of State
(Rio Grande Guardian, March 8, 2017)

“NAFTA has delivered value to American consumers and provided opportunities for American businesses. Our home state of Texas is the perfect example of the success of this deal. Texas exports to Mexico have increased by 363.8 percent since NAFTA went into effect.”

– U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, Texas.
(Rio Grande Guardian, March 16, 2016)

Sponsorship Opportunities


RGV Hispanic Chamber leader Sakulenzki said the three chambers of commerce coordinating Rio Grande International Trade Day in Austin are looking for sponsors to help cover the cost of the buses from the Valley to Austin and the catering at the state Capitol. Sponsorship Levels are:

$125: Individual seat on bus
$750: Two seats on bus and name/logo on literature & banner
$1,500: Four seats on bus and name/logo on literature & banner
$3,000: Six seats on bus, name/logo on literature & banner, and VIP recognition

Contact Information


For more information about Rio Grande International Trade Day in Austin, contact:

Cynthia Sakulenzki: 956-451-5255
Tony Gutierrez: 956-536-1448
Carlos Marin: 956-776-5538
Steve Taylor: 956-605-9380