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A Preliminary Assessment of NAFTA's Impact on the Texas Border Economy

J. Michael Patrick


The Texas border region with Mexico enjoys a unique geographical position at the center of the NAFTA market. In its first year, 1994, NAFTA gave a boost to already expanding U.S.-Mexican trade and regional cross-border commerce, begun in 1986 with Mexico's accession to GATT. The December 1994 peso devaluation slowed substantially the pace of trade and investment between the two countries, having a negative impact on the economy of the Texas border region. While many businessmen and women and public officials remain optimistic about the region's future under NAFTA and expanding U.S.-Mexican trade ties, others are not so sure. Some officials and academicians caution that NAFTA will change the way U.S., Mexican, and Canadian investors and entrepreneurs conduct business. This is particularly true in areas of transportation and warehousing services as well as retailing, putting in jeopardy the very industries that traditionally have been the mainstay of much of the Texas border economy.

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Print ISSN: 0886-5655
Online ISSN: 2159-1229