A Lot May Be Riding On Gov. Abbott’s Effort To Improve Ties With Mexico | Texas Public Radio

A Lot May Be Riding On Gov. Abbott’s Effort To Improve Ties With Mexico

Jul 10, 2015

Texas-Mexico relations were front and center this as Governor Greg Abbott met with Mexico’s Foreign Secretary. Former-U.S. ambassador to Mexico Tony Garza says improving these ties will greatly serve Texas businesses and the state.

Former Texas Secretary of State and US Ambassador to Mexico, Tony Garza.
Credit Ryan E. Poppe

After serving as Texas Secretary of State and US ambassador to Mexico under George W. Bush, Garza went on to represent companies that have clients in Mexico and says a reform of the country’s energy sector has made it a place ripe with opportunity, especially for Texas companies wanting to help extract the country’s enormous oil reserves.

“I have to imagine Texas being the energy capitol of the world and having the expertise in companies with the technology and the capitol are going to be looking at Mexico as a real opportunity,” Garza said.

And it won’t be just oil companies that will be able to reap the benefits of an untapped pool sitting under Burgos Basin in Northern Mexico and along the country’s shoreline.

“It’s not just simply energy investors, it’s everything it takes to build an energy sector, so it’s roads, it’s water, it’s sand. It is the schools to educate and develop the STEM capabilities that are so critical to the energy sector,” Garza explained.

During his visit, Mexico’s Foreign Sec. Jose Antonio Meade Kuribrena announced a deal with the University of Texas at Austin, to have some of that country’s top scientists share their findings and techniques with researchers at UT-Austin.

Some say the meeting between the Governor and Mexico’s foreign secretary was more about public relations than it was about foreign policy, especially since Abbott has no real diplomatic power.  But Garza says Abbott does have an important role to play, especially concerning companies that have no connection to the Mexican government.

“In terms of encouraging investment I think it’s completely appropriate for the Texas governor to have a nice relationship with his Mexican counterparts so that as Texas companies are interested he can help promote them,” Garza said.

Abbott plans to continue discussing the future of trade, infrastructure needs near points of entry, and the blossoming energy sector in Mexico during his trip to Mexico City in the coming months.