Data demonstrates that NAFTA is a big plus for Texas

Wall Street Journal:
When Rick Chevalier wants to ship raw materials from Mexico to his company’s coffee plant in Canada, all it takes is a quick email.

As U.S. distribution manager for Mother Parkers Tea & Coffee, Mr. Chevalier arranges a single trucking or train company to whisk the materials, used for coffee-machine capsules, from the Mexican state of Querétaro up through the U.S. and into Ontario in Canada.

Because of the North American Free Trade Agreement, what was once a seven-day trip might now take only five and saves his company money, he said.

“It’s free trade that simplifies it,” said Mr. Chevalier, who works from Fort Worth, where Mother Parkers has a roasting plant with 300 employees.

Far from abandoned mills and factories of the industrial Midwest, where simmering anger over trade deals and jobs shipped overseas helped catapult Donald Trump to victory, Texas’ export economy is powered by Nafta. As a candidate, the president-elect blasted the 22-year-old agreement, which allows goods to move across the borders of Mexico, the U.S. and Canada without tariffs, and said he would like to revamp it.

That sets up a challenge for the president-elect, who must weigh his campaign promises to right the Rust Belt’s crumbling factory economy without slowing the Texas trade juggernaut. Many of the businesspeople here who are fretting about what might become of Nafta supported Mr. Trump in the election, including Mr. Chevalier of the coffee company, and say they are hopeful he won’t follow through on his threats, pointing to his experience as a businessman.
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From the booming border city of Laredo to the bustling trading hub of Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas has become the nation’s top exporter of goods, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, and Mexico is its biggest customer. Some 382,000 jobs in Texas alone depend on trade with Mexico, according to 2014 data released this month by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, a nonpartisan global research group. Goods exported from Texas help support more than a million jobs across the U.S., according to the U.S. Commerce Department.
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There is much more.

What the data shows is that Texas did a much better job than most of the blue states did in facilitating trade and making it pay locally.  Gov. Rick Perry led Texas during most of this growth period and hopefully, he will have a place at the table when negotiations begin on any changes to NAFTA.

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