SAN ANTONIO, Texas – U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro of San Antonio is one of three members of Congress to introduce a House Resolution “reaffirming a strong commitment to the United States­-Mexico partnership.”

The others are Reps. Eliot Engel of New York and Albio Sires of New Jersey. All three are Democrats. Engel is ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

(The Resolution is reprinted later in this story.)

U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro

Castro said the Resolution has been introduced in response to President Trump’s “reckless, bullying behavior” towards Mexico. Relations between the U.S. and Mexico have plummeted since Trump was elected president and two weeks ago Trump and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto clashed publicly over who should pay for a border wall between the U.S.-Mexico.

The Associated Press reported that Trump told Peña Nieto in a telephone conversation on Jan. 27 that “You have a bunch of bad hombres down there. You aren’t doing enough to stop them. I think your military is scared. Our military isn’t, so I just might send them down there to take care of it.”

Both the U.S. and Mexican governments deny Trump said this.

“Mexico has been the target of the President’s attacks since the beginning of his campaign,” Rep. Castro said in a statement.

“We feel it important to reassure Mexico, an important economic and security partner, that we deeply value our nations’ cooperation. The President’s actions do not reflect Congress’s commitment to our close ally.”

Rep. Engel said the Resolution “sends a clear” message to President Peña Nieto and the Mexican people “that we will not allow the Trump Administration’s reckless diplomacy to define our partnership with Mexico.”

Engel added: “I urge President Trump to reverse course immediately so that our relationship can get back on track.”

Here is the Engel-Sires-Castro Resolution:

Reaffirming a strong commitment to the United States­-Mexico partnership.

Whereas the United States-Mexico partnership is extremely important to citizens in both countries on a daily basis;

Whereas when President Barack Obama left office on January 20, 2017, he left behind a relationship with Mexico and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto that was stronger than ever;

Whereas, on July 25, 2016, President Obama stated, “From our shared security to climate change, Mexico is a critical partner and is critically important to our own well-being. We’re not just strategic and economic partners, we’re also neighbors, and we’re friends, and we’re family including millions of Americans that are connected to Mexico by ties of culture and of language. And that’s why, as President, I’ve worked to deepen the partnership between our two nations.”;

Whereas the United States and Mexico launched the High Level Economic Dialogue on September 20, 2013, to help advance United States-Mexico economic and commercial priorities to promote mutual economic growth, job creation, and global competitiveness;

Whereas Presidents George W. Bush and Felipe Calderon established the Merida Initiative in 2007, which enabled a new level of security cooperation between the United States and Mexico;

Whereas, on September 5, 2001, President George W. Bush stated that the United States “has no more important relationship in the world than the one we have with Mexico.”;

Whereas the January 19, 2017, extradition of drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman to New York was a major victory for both countries that never would have been possible without a robust United States-Mexico partnership;

Whereas the construction of a wall along the 2,000-mile southern border and demands that the Mexican Government pay for it are counterproductive and inconsistent with United States values;

Whereas Mexican-Americans make an important contribution to the United States day in and day out and deserve to be valued and not disparaged; and
 
Whereas the United States and Mexico are close friends and allies with deep person-to-person, family, and cultural ties:  

Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the House of Representatives

(1) reaffirms its strong commitment to the United States-Mexico partnership; and
(2) encourages the President to prioritize a United States-Mexico relationship based on mutual respect.

Bi-National Chambers of Commerce meeting


Anti-U.S. sentiment in Mexico has grown since President Trump took office. A media-driven campaign in Reynosa urges local residents not to shop in McAllen, Texas, in retaliation at Trump’s rhetoric and an executive order that called for the construction of a border wall to be fast-tracked.

According to McAllen Mayor Jim Darling, 36 percent of all retail sales in McAllen are generated by Mexican visitors. To re-affirm the Rio Grande Valley’s support for Mexico and Mexicans, the McAllen Chamber of Commerce is resurrecting the Tamaulipas–Rio Grande Valley Chambers of Commerce Alliance.

Chambers of commerce from the Valley and Tamaulipas will meet at the McAllen Chamber on Thursday February 9.

Tamaulipas and Valley chambers met regularly when the late Bill Summers was president of the Rio Grande Valley Partnership and Angela Burton was president of the Brownsville Chamber of Commerce. However, in recent years the meetings have dwindled to once a year.

Among the planned attendees for Thursday’s event are the Enrique Solana Senties, president of Mexico’s National Chambers of Commerce Organization, Ricardo Navarro Benitez, vice-president of Mexico’s National Chambers of Commerce Organization, the mayors of some of Tamaulipas border cities, representatives from the Tamaulipas State Government, and officials and leaders from Valley and Tamaulipas chambers of commerce.

The meeting will run from 8:30 AM TO 1:30 PM. Among the topics slated to be discussed are:

  • Strategies for commercial, economic, tourism, social and service exchanges between the Rio Grande Valley and Tamaulipas during difficult times between U.S. and Mexico federal governments
  • Peso to Dollar exchange rate
  • Expectations for regional economic development

After the press conference, conclusions and proposals will be discussed.

For additional information, please contact McAllen Chamber of Commerce Vice President Luis Cantu at (956) 682-2871.

1 COMMENT

  1. Thank you for this informing article! Might you consider updating VP Cantu’s phone number to include the area code so that persons outside your area may contact him more easily? I look forward to hearing more as this matter progresses.