Texas Border Business
LAREDO, Texas – “USMCA delivers an agreement that will create more jobs, modernize trade in the digital age and foster innovation,” stated Dennis E. Nixon, president and CEO of International Bank of Commerce and chairman of International Bancshares Corporation.
“The upcoming congressional ratification of this trade agreement will continue to build upon the economic progress we have made for more than twenty-five years, and further strengthen the integration of our economies by giving our region an unprecedented level of competitiveness in the global economy. North American free trade is estimated to generate approximately $3.8 billion in commerce daily.”
U.S. trade with Mexico and Canada reached nearly $1.4 trillion last year and supported 12 million American jobs in manufacturing, agriculture, technology and the service sector in all 50 states. The U.S. exported approximately $289.7 billion and $265 billion in goods to Canada and Mexico, respectively, in 2018, according to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.
USMCA contains enforceable core environmental and labor standards, improvements long sought-after by Democrats. Mexico’s Congress has already passed labor reforms required by the agreement and these provisions are more stringent than in any other U.S. trade agreement.
The White House estimates that USMCA will add half a percentage point to U.S. economic growth, create several hundred thousand jobs and spark up to $100 billion in new investments.
IBC Bank and its senior leaders have been integrally involved in promoting North American Free Trade since the initial negotiation of NAFTA in the 1990s, through the more recent negotiation of USMCA. The continuation of the world’s most significant free trade agreement is essential, which is why IBC Bank has been a passionate and dedicated advocate for its ratification.
Nixon was instrumental in the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement and continues to be a high-profile advocate for free trade, serving in various leadership roles for civic and business organizations, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Association of South Texas Communities, Texas Border Coalition, Border Trade Alliance and the Alliance for Security and Trade. Most recently, Nixon was named co-chair of the Trade Policy Working Group of the U.S.-Mexico CEO Dialogue. The group strengthens economic and commercial ties between the two countries by convening private sector leaders from the United States and Mexico to provide joint recommendations for their respective governments on priorities in the bilateral trade and investment relationship. The Dialogue has focused heavily on the issues at ports of entry and ratification of the USMCA, as both countries have interests in staffing and infrastructure.
Gerald Schwebel, executive vice president of the Corporate International Division of IBC Bank, is widely regarded as a leading expert on international trade and finance. Schwebel frequently represents IBC Bank and its customers with top government and business leaders in the United States, Mexico, and Canada.
Schwebel is the immediate past president of North America’s Strategy for Competitiveness (NASCO), which is a tri-national trade coalition (U.S., Canada, and Mexico) that advocates for competitiveness through logistics, transportation infrastructure, security, energy, and a skilled workforce. Additionally, Schwebel is involved with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as a member of the U.S.-Mexico Economic Council (USMXECO), past national chairman of the Border Trade Alliance and former bi-national director of the U.S.-Mexico Chamber of Commerce.
As a community bank, IBC Bank is committed to creating economic opportunities in the communities it serves. NAFTA has had a profoundly positive economic impact on the U.S. economy, and in the states of Texas and Oklahoma in particular. IBC Bank is pleased that the future passage of the USMCA will continue this progress for the next generation.