Looking back at NAFTA, looking ahead to the USMCA

Local News

MCALLEN, Texas – Over the past 25 years the NAFTA Agreement has had a dramatic impact on the Rio Grande Valley both economically and culturally. The Mexican consulate in collaboration with UTRGV hosting a discussion to examine the past and future economic impacts of NAFTA or the Unite States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) in the Rio Grande Valley.

Francisco Guajardo, Executive Director, UTRGV B3 Institute, “The entire region was really pushed to become something different and it was a result of burgeoning commerce and a real spike in activity across this borderland.”

Guajardo also says by having this knowledge, the university will be ready to better prepare students in dealing with the social, community, cultural and economic changes. “We don’t want to just sit idly by and let these processes sort of shape who we are and define who we are and dictate who we are we want to have agency in this.”

Maria Christina Rosas is an author and leading expert on trade polices between the U.S. and Mexico. She shared some insight from the Mexican prospective. “Mexico didn’t like it in general when Trump threatened Mexico by saying we are going to withdraw from NAFTA  and you have to change it the way I want it to be changed. That’s not good.”

She says it’s not just about the U.S. All three countries as partners should have an equal voice and the Mexican people would like it to be reformed in a different way. The new agreement was signed at the G20 Summit in December 2018. Congress still must ratify the agreement.

“We believe the democrats are going to push hard against the agreement and they are going to take this agreement as hostage against Trump.” says Rosas.

Francisco Guajardo adding he hopes this discussion will allow voices from the RGV to be heard on the issue.

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