Rep. Cuellar Meets with Asst. U.S. Trade Representative
Cuellar is leading voice in NAFTA renegotiation
Yesterday, Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28) hosted Assistant U.S. Trade Representative Christopher Jackson and Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative Cameron Bishop to discuss the modernization of NAFTA and the need for America, not China, to lead the world on trade. Congressman Cuellar has already been working with businesses on both sides of the border, as well as the Mexican Ambassador and other government leaders, to improve NAFTA.
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), headed by Ambassador Robert Lighthizer, handles international trade and investment policy, including negotiations for trade agreements. Last month, the USTR formally notified Congress of the Administration’s intent to re-open trade negotiations with our NAFTA partners, Canada and Mexico.
Congressman Cuellar said:
“Meeting with staff from the USTR yesterday was important, because international trade is critical to the economy of my border district, yet the administration has sent some mixed signals on the subject. We discussed important issues such as border infrastructure, the North American Development Bank, the free flow of legitimate cross border financial transactions, and energy investments.
NAFTA has been good for Texas and the nation. Texas’ exports to Mexico have increased more than 300% since the deal went into effect more than 20 years ago and today international trade supports more than 1.5 million Texas jobs – many in border communities like mine. A 21st-century update to this deal is the best outcome for our economy and American jobs. But some administration officials still publicly threaten to eliminate NAFTA – and that uncertainty affects the job-creating businesses in south Texas.
Every time the United States takes a step back, China takes two steps forward. American workers deserve access to the global economy. That’s why I supported the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and why I want to help build NAFTA 2.0.
Yesterday I told the USTR leaders that I look forward to working with Ambassador Lighthizer and my congressional colleagues to negotiate trade deals that help our economy and create jobs.”