The cultural exchange resulting from this close proximity has enriched the fabric of Mexicans, Texans and America.
by Alex Gonzalez
Under NAFTA/USMCA, trade between Mexico and the US has experienced significant growth, reaching a staggering $680 billion, with a 4% increase in the last quarter alone. Mexico has solidified its position as one of America’s top trading partners. Notably, 44% of all Mexico-US trade flows through Texas’ ports of entry, and Port Laredo stands as the nation’s leading gateway for U.S. trade.
Likewise, nearly 35% of Texas’ exports find their way to Mexico, making it the state’s number one trading partner. Given the extensive 1,200-mile shared border between Mexico and Texas, border communities on both sides of the Rio Grande have developed strong interdependent relationships, relying on the smooth flow of goods and people. This symbiotic relationship has further cemented the inseparable nature of the border region.
Today, Hispanics constitute the largest ethnic group in Texas, with approximately 90% having Mexican American roots. Looking ahead to the next census round in 2030, it is likely that Hispanics will make up 50% of Texas’ population. As their numbers continue to grow, the new generation of Hispanic Texans will likely seek to forge closer ties with Mexico, leveraging their cultural heritage and shared border proximity to foster economic and social connections.
Mexico was Texas’ #1 trading partner in 2021 with $122.7 billion in exports. Texas top exports to Mexico were oil and gas; chemicals; nuclear reactors; iron and steel, plastics and copper.
The deepening trade ties between Mexico and Texas have profound implications for both regions. Economically, the increased trade volume has contributed to job creation, investment opportunities, and overall economic growth. Texas, with its diverse industries ranging from energy to agriculture, has benefited greatly from the robust trade relationship with its southern neighbor.
The cultural exchange resulting from this close proximity has enriched the fabric of Mexicans, Texans and America. From shared traditions, the blending of languages and customs, the border region has become a vibrant melting pot of cultural heritage.
However, the growth in trade and population also presents challenges that require careful management and planning. Infrastructure improvements and investments must be made to ensure the smooth flow of goods and people across the border, facilitating trade and minimizing bottlenecks.
Moreover, as Texas’ demographic landscape evolves, policymakers and community leaders must work to address the unique needs and aspirations of the Hispanic population in Texas and Norther Mexico. Promoting educational opportunities, economic empowerment, and social integration will be essential in fostering a stronger and border region.
To leverage the potential benefits of the Mexico-Texas relationship, it is crucial for both governments to maintain a cooperative approach, fostering dialogue and collaboration on trade policies, border security, and cross-border initiatives. By working together, Mexico and Texas can create a mutually beneficial environment that promotes economic prosperity, cultural exchange, and harmonious region beyond the contentious issue of “illegal” Immigration and Asylum seekers.
The NAFTA/USMCA trade agreement has played a pivotal role in enhancing trade between Mexico and the US, with Texas serving as a crucial hub for North America. The intertwined nature of the border region necessitates close collaboration, not only in trade and infrastructure but also in addressing the needs of the growing Hispanic population. With proper management, the Mexico-Texas relationship holds vast potential for economic growth, cultural enrichment, and a brighter future for both regions.