Texas Agriculture Commissioner and Tamaulipas Governor Meet for Historic Handshake on International Bridge in Laredo (2/23/2017)
Commissioner Sid Miller and Governor Cabeza de Vaca Hold Texas-Tamaulipas Together Friendship Exchange
LAREDO, TX – Today, Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller and Governor of the neighboring Mexican state of Tamaulipas, Francisco Garcia Cabeza de Vaca, met at the intersection of the Texas-Mexico border on the international bridge spanning the Rio Grande at Laredo for a unique friendship exchange event. The meeting on the bridge is believed to be the first such meeting of high-level Mexican and Texas officials since Texas Governor George W. Bush met with Mexican President Zedillo in 2000.
At today’s event, Governor Cabeza de Vaca and Commissioner Miller were also joined by Tamaulipas Secretary of Rural Development Gonzalo Alemán Migliolo, the mayors of both Laredo and Nuevo Laredo and other local officials.
In front of a backdrop of U.S. and Mexican flags, the two made speeches regarding the strength of the partnership between Texas and Tamaulipas and the importance of that partnership as President Trump moves to renegotiate NAFTA, the agreement vital to trade between the two states. Commissioner Miller has advised President Trump and his staff on issues of great importance to Texas including trade and border security. Both Miller and Cabeza de Vaca called upon President Trump and Mexican President Peña-Nieto to visit Laredo before beginning work on a new trade agreement.
“If there is anywhere in the country that really understands the importance of NAFTA and the special relationship between the U.S. and Mexico, it is right here in Laredo,” Commissioner Miller said. “With 17 border crossings between Texas and Tamaulipas, our two states trade a billion dollars of goods every day – that’s about 80 percent of all trade between the U.S. and Mexico. NAFTA happens right here, in this city and on these bridges.”
“Here’s a message to Presidente Peña and Presidente Trump: vengan aqui a la frontera,” Governor Cabeza de Vaca said. “If you both come and meet here at the border you will see how much we have in common. Things look very different from Washington and from Mexico City. But here in Laredo and Nuevo Laredo, you will see a vibrant border community that helps make our region stronger. President Trump, Presidente Peña, I urge you to meet here at the border and send a message that our two nations can work together.”
Commissioner Miller also thanked Governor Cabeza de Vaca for successfully addressing several agenda items from their first meeting in Austin in September, including the removal of 5,600 rogue cotton plants along the border that attract boll weevils and threaten Texas cotton production.
Following the comments, Commissioner Miller and Governor Cabeza de Vaca shook hands and exchanged gifts in an official display of friendship. The Texas and Tamaulipas delegations then adjourned to a private business meeting in the nearby El Portal conference room.
The Texas Department of Agriculture website is www.texasagriculture.gov
Gobierno del Estado de Tamaulipas @gobTamaulipas
Francisco Cabeza de Vaca @fgcabezadevaca
Texas Department of Agriculture @TexasDepartmentofAgriculture