Politics

Congress Moves To Strengthen Trade Ties With Mexico, In Teeth Of Trump Threats To Kill NAFTA

The Senate has passed a bill, sponsored by Sen. John Cornyn, to improve trade flows along the Texas-Mexico border.

President-elect Donald Trump has repeatedly said he'll pull the U.S. out of NAFTA, unless Mexico agrees to renegotiate the trade deal. But one Texas senator is working to strengthen it.

The Senate has unanimously passed a bill to improve trade flows along the Texas-Mexico border, sponsored by Sen. John Cornyn. In a conference call with reporters, Cornyn responded to a question about whether he was in a rush to get the measure to President Obama before Trump takes office.

"I do think there's been a lot of loose talk about trade," Cornyn said. "We in Texas, I think, believe, by and large, that NAFTA has been a net positive, and that trade with Mexico, which supports about 6 million American jobs, we view that as something very important."

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has had a tough time staffing and repairing infrastructure at ports of entry along the Mexican border, due to tight budgets. Cornyn's bill would let the agency form public-private partnerships to help raise the needed funds.

The measure now moves to the House, where it has the support of border congressmen, including Republican Will Hurd and Democrats Henry Cuellar and Beto O'Rourke. Cornyn says he's confident the lower chamber will pass the measure by the end of next week.

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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media’s coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments across Greater Houston. Before taking up his current post, Andrew spent five years as Houston Public Media’s business reporter, covering the oil...

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