May 2, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Mexico hits back at Texas for using trade as "political tool"

Picture of a line of trucks
Hundreds of commercial trucks wait in line to cross the Progreso International Bridge into Mexico on April 13 in Progreso, Texas. Photo: Michael Gonzalez/Getty Images

Mexican officials said last week that they would change plans for a trade railway to keep it from passing through Texas because of the governor's recently revoked inspection rule for truckers coming from Mexico.

Driving the news: Mexican Economy Minister Tatiana Clouthier said that the railway, known as the T-MEC Corridor, would go through New Mexico instead, saying: "We can't leave all the eggs in one basket and be hostages to someone who wants to use trade as a political tool," per the Dallas Morning News.

  • Mexico is Texas' largest trading partner, and it's also one of the largest to the U.S. in general, as well as its biggest supplier of agricultural products.
  • Approximately one-third of exports from Texas go to Mexico, with exports constituting 17% of the state's economy, Bloomberg reports.
  • The planned railway would connect the Mexican port of Mazatlán to the Canadian city of Winnipeg.

Catch up fast: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) on April 6 implemented a new rule demanding that all trucks at the southern border be inspected, arguing that the Biden administration was unable to stem illegal immigration after it moved to lift Title 42. The move received fierce backlash.

State of play: Clouthier noted that commercial trucks coming from Mexico are already checked by U.S. federal authorities, adding that the Texas Department of Public Safety does not have the authority to conduct searches.

  • For the approximately 10 days that the order was in place, Texas did not report finding any contraband or undocumented immigrants, Bloomberg notes.

Details: Clouthier said "the rail line would be routed along the far edge of West Texas up through Santa Teresa, N.M., about 20 miles west of downtown El Paso," the Dallas Morning News writes.

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