Following Gov. Greg Abbott’s border inspection policy last month, the Mexican government announced its intention to reroute long-range plans to build a trade railway connection worth billions of dollars from Texas to New Mexico.
Mexican Economy Minister Tatiana Clothier said that the T-MEC Corridor set to connect the Pacific port of Mazatlán to the Canadian city of Winnipeg would not use Texas due to Abbott’s recent use of trade as a “political tool.” Instead, the proposed 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.
“We’re now not going to use Texas,” Clouthier said at a conference in Mexico City Thursday. “We can’t leave all the eggs in one basket and be hostages to someone who wants to use trade as a political tool.”
Last month, Abbott ordered additional inspections for all commercial trucks coming from Mexico. Over a 10-day period of stepped-up inspections, DPS did not report any unauthorized migrants nor illicit drugs. The move caused significant delays of up to three days and supply chain disruptions. These delays have since been described as being financially damaging to the state and may now leave a lasting impact on relations between Texas and Mexico, its largest trading partner. By the time Abbott announced the end to inspections, Texas had already suffered $4 billion in economic damage, according to Waco-based researcher Perryman Group.
The Texas governor is up for re-election to a third term this year, and has made border security and immigration key campaign issues. His move to add truck inspections came along with other efforts aimed at deterring smuggling and illegal crossings, including busing some migrants from the border to Washington D.C.