(Secretary Hughs convenes the meeting via video
conference. Office of the Texas Secretary of State,
AUSTIN – Texas Secretary of State Ruth Hughs yesterday convened via video conference the second Border Trade Advisory Committee (BTAC) meeting of 2020, bringing together stakeholders from throughout the Texas-Mexico border region to advance initiatives to address challenges related to international trade with Mexico. The Secretary and Committee members were joined by representatives from each of Mexico’s adjoining border states with Texas, as well as representatives of the Mexican federal government.
As Border Commerce Coordinator and Committee Chair, Secretary Hughs works closely with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and Committee members to discuss strategies to better facilitate cross-border trade, improve transportation infrastructure and cargo processing, and increase coordination with public officials in Mexico.
“Despite the extraordinary circumstances facing the Lone Star State as a result of COVID-19, Texas and Mexico continue to stand together,” said Secretary Hughs. “By fostering collaboration between our Texas border communities and Mexican partners, we will voice our needs and priorities to our state, federal, and international counterparts and ensure that Texas border communities thrive.”
Following a TxDOT presentation which included an overview of outreach efforts and an economic analysis, Committee members discussed current challenges facing border trade, including the impact of COVID-19. The Committee closed by re-emphasizing the importance of further strengthening communication and coordination between stakeholders on both sides of the border.
The Texas-Mexico Border Transportation Master Plan (BTMP), expected to be completed in 2020, is designed to identify transportation infrastructure challenges, solicit feedback from stakeholders throughout the border region, and implement long-term strategies for continuing to facilitate cross-border trade. Input gathered at BTAC meetings help to identify areas in which local, state, and U.S. and Mexican federal officials can coordinate to improve efficiency in the movement of freight, goods, and people across Texas’ 28 ports of entry.