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U.S.-Mexico Trade Deal Draws Mixed Reaction from Texas Border Leaders

The United States stuck a new trade deal with Mexico. Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto says it would focus on “great trade,” and be a fairer bill than the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which he has been attempting to scrap.

Leadership along the Texas border, however, was more muted in its praise, pointing out that while the new deal is a good first step, more work needs to be done. Laredo, TX Mayor Pete Saenz, chairman of the Texas Border Coalition, offered cautious praise for the deal, adding that Canada needs to be involved. Britton Clarke with the Border Trade Alliance agreed, pointing out that “NAFTA’s trilateral construct . . . should be preserved and modernized.”

On the political side, U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Laredo) pointed out that “this entire process could have been avoided without the dramatization and harsh rhetoric of the administration,” which has, in turn, created business uncertainty and stifled growth. State Rep. Cesar Blanco (D-El Paso), also voiced his concerns, pointing out that “Trump’s past rhetoric and actions have already caused wide-spread uncertainty and spurred trade wars with some of our closest allies.” He went on to say that, while he remains cautiously optimistic about the agreement, “it is critical American workers are not left behind.”

Speaking of American workers, the AFL-CIO, United Steelworkers, United Auto Workers and Communications Workers of America, among others, indicated their flat-out disgust with NAFTA. “We are aggressively engaged in pursuing an agreement that works for working people in all three countries, and we are not done yet,” noted a joint statement from the organizations.

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Mark El-Rayes is an award winning designer and photographer from Beirut, Lebanon. El-Rayes has over 15 years in the design industry, 5 years of which he served as a Mass Communication Specialist in the United States Navy at Naval Air Station North Island, Navy Public Affairs Support Element - West (NPASE). El-Rayes is a full-stack developer, seo specialist, photographer, and artist.