Texas leaders call for new trade agreement to include Canada

by | Sep 6, 2018 | Uncategorized

The White House last week announced a preliminary new trade agreement had been secured between the United States and Mexico.

While details of the pact are forthcoming, the White House said the agreement would “create more reciprocal trade that grows the economy, supports high-paying jobs for American workers, protects American intellectual property” and “is a mutually beneficial win for North American farmers, ranchers, workers, and businesses.”

Gov. Greg Abbott reacted on Aug. 27, saying, “Today’s agreement between the U.S. and Mexico is a step in the right direction. Texas is the nation’s top exporting state, and with Mexico being our largest trading partner, this new deal should be good for the Texas economy. Canada is our second-largest trade partner, and I remain hopeful that negotiations with Canada will be equally productive.”

The White House released a transcript of President Donald Trump and President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico discussing what a new agreement between the two countries would require. Trump said cars imported from Mexico would have to contain a greater percentage of parts and equipment originating in North America. During their conversation, Nieto asked Trump to include Canada in the agreement, but Trump stopped short of making such a promise. 

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, hailed the prospect of a new trade agreement, saying, “This is a positive step and now we need to ensure the final agreement brings Canada into the fold and has bipartisan support. A trilateral agreement is the best path forward, and any modernized agreement should do no harm to states like Texas whose economy has seen the benefits of cross-border commerce. Millions of jobs in Texas depend on an updated NAFTA, and it’s important that we get this right.”

NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, was signed during the Clinton administration and took effect Jan. 1, 1994.

Russell Boening, president of the Texas Farm Bureau, also welcomed the news, but emphasized that his organization wants Canada considered.  “The North American Free Trade Agreement has benefitted U.S. agriculture and we hope this new deal promotes even more trade with our neighbor to the south,” he said. “We hope Canada comes to the table soon and joins this agreement or enters into a new agreement with the U.S. on its own.” 

Campuses earn designations

Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath on Aug. 28 announced that more than 400 campuses that achieved a “Met Standard” rating in the 2018 state accountability system also earned all distinction designations applicable to their individual school.

“Earning one or several campus-level distinctions is notable and should be applauded by a community as an outstanding achievement,” Morath said. “For a school to earn every potential distinction applicable to their campus is difficult, but a reflection of some truly amazing work by our educators,” he added.

Up to seven distinction designations can be earned for: Academic Achievement in English Language Arts/Reading; Academic Achievement in Mathematics; Academic Achievement in Science; Academic Achievement in Social Studies; Top 25 Percent: Comparative Academic Growth; Top 25 Percent: Comparative Closing the Gaps; and Postsecondary Readiness. 

Texas’ 2018 accountability ratings for school districts, charters and campuses statewide were released by the Texas Education Agency on Aug. 15. More information is available online at TXschools.org.

Governor honors McCain

Gov. Abbott on Aug. 25 joined a long list of dignitaries and citizens offering condolences on the death of Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, longtime member of Congress, former presidential candidate, U.S. Navy pilot and former prisoner of war. 

“John McCain was born to lead,” Abbott said in a news release. “Throughout his military career, his years of cruel imprisonment and torture as a prisoner of war, his decades of dedicated service in Congress, and his quest as a candidate for the highest office, his fighting spirit could not be broken. Though he often could have chosen the easier path in life, John McCain would never surrender his love of country. He was an American warrior. Cecilia and I ask the people of Texas and of his beloved nation to join us in prayer as we mourn the loss of a true statesman.” 

McCain, 81, died of glioblastoma, a type of brain cancer, on Aug. 25. President Trump on Aug. 27 signed a proclamation for U.S. flags to be flown at half-staff until McCain’s burial. 

Ed Sterling is the member services director for the Texas Press Association. His column is a weekly aggregation of news about the state’s government.

For more opinion pieces like this subscribe in print or online.

0 Comments

Related News

Gussie Nell Davis celebration Oct. 8-9

Gussie Nell Davis celebration Oct. 8-9

One day in 1940, Gussie Nell Davis got a call from Kilgore College in East Texas to form a group that would perform at halftime of college football games. She took the job and founded the Kilgore Rangerettes, an organization that has become part of Texas small-town...

read more
Farmersville wins season opener against Bonham

Farmersville wins season opener against Bonham

Volleyball action returned yesterday to Farmersville, as the Lady Farmers opened the season at home against Bonham. Farmersville was able to capture the first win of the year, sweeping the Lady Warriors 25-9, 25-19, 25-15. Thoughts from Coach Harold Davis “I’m very...

read more
Governor lifts mask mandate

Governor lifts mask mandate

Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order (GA-34) lifting the mask mandate in Texas and increasing capacity of all businesses and facilities in the state to 100%. “With the medical advancements of vaccines and antibody therapeutic drugs, Texas now has the tools...

read more
Farmersville Soccer Preview

Farmersville Soccer Preview

This week marks a big transition for the Farmersville soccer teams, as they close out their pre-district schedule and they prepare to fight for a playoff spot. Here are the games for Farmersville soccer this week: Thursday, Jan. 21-Saturday, Jan. 23: Farmersville...

read more
Adopt an Angel this Christmas

Adopt an Angel this Christmas

Farmersville residents can make the holidays a little brighter for less fortunate children by adopting a Christmas Angel and filling their wish list. Eighty angels out of the 300 who signed up, remain available for adoption.  This year, the initial amount of...

read more
Local nonprofit scores funds

Local nonprofit scores funds

Shutt’er Down Ranch, a 33- acre animal refuge in Farm­ersville, wants to establish a mobile veterinary clinic, ac­cording to the ranch’s execu­tive director, Kevin Becker. The refuge has taken a major step toward realizing that goal thanks to a $21,000 donation from a...

read more
Primary voting begins Tuesday

Primary voting begins Tuesday

Voters head to the polls Tuesday, March 3, to cast their ballots in the Republican and Democratic presidential pri­mary elections. Ballots for each party prima­ry also include races to deter­mine nominees for U.S. Sen­ate, U.S. Representative seats, statewide offices...

read more
FISD board sets 2020-21 calendar

FISD board sets 2020-21 calendar

 There are still six more months until next school year, but planning for it is already in motion. At their Monday, Feb. 24 school board meeting, trustees approved the 2020-21 calendar. For the full story, see the Feb. 27 issue or subscribe online. Morgan Howard...

read more