CLEBURNE — What began as a ribbon-cutting for a new investment by a Mexican company in Texas evolved into a lovefest for NAFTA on Tuesday when speaker after speaker extolled the basic principles behind the embattled program.
In remarks by everyone from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to Mexico’s secretary of foreign affairs, the focus was on how the decades-old pact, which is being renegotiated, has benefited the United States and especially Texas.
The official occasion was the opening of a 150,000-square-foot state of the art production, manufacturing, and distribution facility built by Mexico’s largest pasta manufacturer, La Moderna.
Abbott said he sees the opening of the company’s first U.S. production plant as emblematic of the “multi-century relationship that has existed between Texas and Mexico” and the robust trade that has developed “to the benefit of Mexico, Texas and the United States.”
“We want to ensure that that trading relationship continues,” he said.
As a mariachi band provided the soundtrack for the celebration, Abbott joined Luis Videgaray Caso, Mexico’s secretary of foreign affairs, and executives with La Moderna, based in Toluca, Mexico.
The $50 million facility is part of a Mexico-to-U.S. investment pipeline that stood at $34.4 billion in 2016, up nearly 40 percent since 2010.
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