If the trade industry was treading cautiously in the United States and Mexico toward the end of 2019 when it was unsure if the U.S. House of Representatives would authorize a new North American trade deal, that caution was not reflected in November at the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge.
Trucks continued crossing the bridge in greater numbers toward the end of the year and eclipsed the crossings of the same months in 2018. There were 50,665 trucks that crossed the bridge southbound in November, a minor increase of nearly 1% and netting $1.2 million in revenues for the month.
While the trend of steady truck traffic at the bridge since the summer continued into the fall, the U.S. House took until just last week to finally authorize the new NAFTA, called the United States-Canada-Mexico Agreement following months of negotiations between the Trump administration, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democratic lawmakers and Mexican officials.
Every Texas lawmaker supported the agreement, but U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, D-McAllen, felt it did not go far enough at a time when “we are witnessing repeated incidents of violence along the border which threatens commerce, and we have no plan to address this insecurity,” Gonzalez said in early December. “Security needs to be a guarantee for all countries and parties and we must take action to ensure the safe passage of goods or risk standing in the way of our own economic interests.”
Bridges on the border like Pharr’s have had infrastructure issues, which then-Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan testified at an April 2018 Homeland Security Committee hearing. McAleenan added that “we have about $4 billion deficit at our ports of entry.”