On January 20, border port officials, bankers and trade proponents met in Dallas to discuss ways to best approach the Trump administration on the issues of trade and security.
A sense of urgency was felt at the meeting due to President Trump’s executive orders last week on construction of a wall at the Mexican border, and ideas of a border tax on Mexican imports.
The attendees to the meeting expressed worry on the rising tensions between Mexican President Nieto and U.S. President Trump, fearing the U.S. negotiating tactic has been too aggressive.
President Nieto and President Trump had an hour long conversation via phone last Friday, but President Nieto cancelled his trip to Washington that was to take place this week.
The group expressed support for NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement), with concern on President Trump’s vow to renegotiate the Agreement. Under NAFTA, trade with Mexico has been an economic success for Texas cities like Laredo and McAllen.
It is expected that the group will release specific recommendations on NAFTA, border security and immigration in the coming weeks, and will continue to meet in the hope of working with the Trump administration.
Sam Vale, a prominent businessman with interests in McAllen and Rio Grande City said, “The overriding theme was come up with solutions to grievances of some, which are legitimate”.