Now that the successor to NAFTA has been negotiated, a group of ar3a members of Congress is urging the Trump Administration to hold the official signing ceremony in San Antonio, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
Among those signing the letter are Republicans Will Hurd and Lamar Smith, and Democrat Henry Cuellar. The letter is addressed to President Trump, as well as outgoing Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
“I commend the leaders and trade negotiators of all three countries for arriving at an updated agreement, which will build on the more than two decades of economic success NAFTA has facilitated,” Cuellar said. “As a representative of the border, I know firsthand the impacts that this trilateral deal will have on border communities. My hope is that the City of San Antonio will continue tradition by hosting the signing of the new pact, just as it did in 1992. I look forward to reviewing the USMCA in Congress and, ultimately, the economic growth and stronger cross-border relationships the agreement will bring.”
County Judge Nelson Wolff told News Radio 1200 WOAI San Antonio as benefitted as much as any city in North America by NAFTA, growing from a regional center into an economic powerhouse, with trade ties across the hemisphere.
NAFTA was signed in San Antonio. President George H.W. Bush, whose administration negotiated NAFTA, was joined at the old Germany American School in La Villata by Mexico's Carlos Salinas de Gortari and Canada's Brian Mulroney.
"Not too long after that, we were successful in bringing the North American Bank to San Antonio," Wolff said.
Smith points out that some 65% of trade between Mexico and the U.S. passes up I-35 through San Antonio, and the city has become a symbol of the success of NAFTA.
“Not only does San Antonio enable valuable trade between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, but it also benefits from job creation and economic growth," he said. "With more than 80% of Mexico’s trade with the U.S. and Canada passing through Texas along the I-35 corridor, San Antonio represents the history of NAFTA and the potential for its future. The original agreement was signed in San Antonio and there is no better place to renew our commitment to free and open North American trade.”
Wolff says the new agreement also promises great opportunities for San Antonio.
"We have seen a lot of prosperity grow out of that ceremony under that tree, along with a lot of international companies now located here," he said.T
he members of Congress say they hope the signing ceremony can take place before the end of the year, so it can be a capstone to the city's year-long 300th birthday celebration.