Through challenging times and fluctuations in the global economy, the relationship between Texas and Mexico has remained resilient, bringing prosperity to both our peoples and fostering hope for an even brighter future.
For over a century, our relationship has matured, allowing our leaders to find common ground in order to advance the common good.
I am confident that, as we move forward in the 21st century, the Lone Star State’s relationship with Mexico will remain on solid footing and continue to grow even stronger.
As Mexico’s No. 1 trade partner, Texas sends more than a third of all its exports to Mexico – more than three times as much as the next export destination. Likewise, more exports from Mexico arrive in Texas than from any other nation – more than the next five nations combined.
Altogether, the trade relationship between Texas and Mexico is worth nearly $200 billion each year and creates hundreds of thousands of jobs for Texans, and our close partnerships in cross-border trade are a force-multiplier for our mutual economic success.
But it’s not just the fact that we share 28 border crossings or more miles of our border than any other border state; we are inextricably bound by robust commerce, vibrant culture, family, and shared values.
I myself am a product of the border. Growing up in Juárez and El Paso, my formative years were shaped by the opportunities that strong cross-border cooperation brings to our people. In fostering meaningful dialogue on education, infrastructure, business and energy, we strengthen the binational communities that have yielded tremendous economic growth throughout the border region and beyond.
Throughout my career, I have been fortunate to develop extensive cross-border dialogue with leaders in industry and government to facilitate cooperative relationships. It is crucial that we continue to combine the extensive resources and innovative thinking on both sides of the border to address today’s most complex challenges.
One such challenge is ensuring that we maintain a secure and lawful flow of legitimate trade. Border security and economic security go hand-in-hand, and we must continually work to improve security in both realms to advance strong and healthy commercial exchange.
Leaders in both Texas and Mexico recognize the importance of achieving safety and security while continuing to promote economic development. By engaging with one another, we can better understand the needs of law enforcement both north and south of the border to ensure stability and prosperity in communities that rely on a robust exchange of goods and people.
Perhaps most importantly, however, is recognizing that our shared goal of mutual prosperity must continue to be our top priority for our future cooperation.
Simply put: when the Texas-Mexico relationship flourishes, so do our economies.
Times of rapid change are bound to create uncertainty. But what is certain is that the values and foundation upon which our relationship is built will serve as our guide as we enter a new era.
As Texas’ secretary of state, I am confident that we can work together to fortify the bonds that have created a strong friendship between Texas and Mexico.
Rolando Pablos is Texas’ secretary of state.