By U.S. Representative Will Hurd – TX23
Over a quarter century ago, NAFTA was signed in my hometown of San Antonio and one of the key provisions was establishing the North American Development Bank (NADBank). NADBank’s mission was to push environmental policy in the U.S.-Mexico border region and enhance trade relations between our two countries.
It worked. More than 25 years later, NADBank has been an integral player in cross-border economics, helping to finance more than 250 job-creating projects and supporting billions in infrastructure investments on both sides of the border. These projects tackled everything from helping to clean up polluted waters to addressing public health challenges and promoting greater energy production.
NADBank has partnered with local governments, municipalities and private companies across South and West Texas on several multi-million-dollar projects to improve the lives of those who live and work in these communities. By leveraging a combination of public and private funding the institution has been able to make a big difference. These types of public-private partnerships are good governance and the examples in our communities are many:
• Marathon Water Supply and Sewer Services was able to expand service to their residents and improve their outdated sewer system that was decades old with a $1.55 million grant.
• This partnership between local and federal agencies also aided Clint and Tornillo residents in receiving clean water through improved water systems.
• A grant to Maverick County benefited all 54,000 residents by providing additional landfill space to continue managing the proper disposal of solid waste.
All these projects made much needed infrastructure improvements and prevented serious public health risks. And NADBank remains a partner at the ready for the next community service need.
NADBank has also been a key driver of our bilateral relationship with Mexico. By financing projects on both sides of the border and having a team consisting of representatives from both nations, the NADBank has aided in strengthening the dialogue between the United States and Mexico.
Last year Representative Henry Cuellar (TX-28) and I introduced the bipartisan North American Development Bank Improvement Act of 2019 to provide an increase in capital for NADBank and it was ultimately included in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) just signed into law.
Now that the USMCA is across the finish line and NADBank’s mission is reauthorized the millions of people who live in and around the border region will experience the benefits of smart polices and cross-border cooperation.
Representative Cuellar and I have worked together on many things during my time in Congress and securing these provisions for NADBank is just another example of how big things can be accomplished when we work together across the aisle. Thanks to the provisions in the new trade agreement and the additional capital provided to NADBank our border community projects will remain priorities.