The Mexican government is now planning to shift long-range plans to build a trade railway connection from Texas to New Mexico in the wake of Governor Greg Abbott’s financially disastrous increased border inspections.
Mexican Economy Minister Tatiana Clouthier said a planned rail and ports expansion — known as the T-MEC Corridor — to connect the Pacific port of Mazatlán to the Canadian city of Winnipeg would not use Texas, but instead the 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.
At a Mexico City conference on April 28 Clouthier said, “We can’t leave all the eggs in one basket and be hostages to someone who wants to use trade as a political tool.”
Abbott created chaos on April 6 by requiring that all commercial trucks coming from Mexico go through “enhanced” safety inspections in order to crack down on human and drug traffickers. During the 10-day period of “enhancement” there were no illicit drugs or unauthorized migrants discovered, but perishables rotted and the state of Texas suffered an estimated $4.2 billion in economic damages.
Jerry Pacheco, president of the Santa Teresa-based Border Industrial Association, called Clouthier’s announcement “a very positive step for New Mexico,” but cautioned that such a project will take years to complete and “anything can happen in that time.”
“If this particular project doesn’t work out, there’ll be other projects that the Mexican government will have and they’ll speak favorably of New Mexico because they know we want to work with them in a constructive way.”