Officials from Mexico and Texas urge state to defend NAFTA

3/6/2017 Associated Press

Texas capitol building by Flikr user ilovemypitAUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas has benefited from the North American Free Trade Agreement more than anywhere else in the U.S. and should defend the pact against attempts by Donald Trump’s administration to undermine it, officials from the state and Mexico said Monday.

Rolando Pablos, the Texas secretary of state, and Carlos Gonzalez Gutierrez, Mexico’s consul general in Austin, spoke to legislators during a hearing at the state Capitol. The comments underscore the dilemma facing many top Republicans who don’t want to openly defy Trump but oppose some of the anti-Mexican trade policies he has advocated.

Pablos said Texas-Mexico trade accounts for nearly $200 billion annually and that there is a “shared destiny” through deep family and cultural connections.

“It is so crucial that we continue to strengthen ties,” said Pablos, who was appointed by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott in January and traveled to Mexico City last week to reassure officials there is “no stronger partnership than the one between Texas and Mexico.”

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