Posted at 6:39 PM
Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and Mexican Secretary of Finance and Public Credit Luis Videgaray Caso, Secretary of Communications and Transport Gerardo Ruiz Esparza, Secretary of Foreign Affairs José Antonio Meade Kuribreña, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske inaugurated the West Rail Bypass International Bridge in Brownsville, Texas. The bridge is the first new international rail crossing between the U.S. and Mexico in 105 years, connecting Brownsville, Texas and Matamoros, Tamaulipas.
Officials from both governments joined the ceremony, including Mexican Embassy Washington Chargé d’Affairs Alejandro Estivill, Mexican Tax Administration Service Chief Aristóteles Núñez, Tamaulipas Governor Egidio Torre Cantú, Brownsville Mayor Tony Martinez, Matamoros Mayor Leticia Salazar, and U.S. Embassy Mexico City Chargé d’Affaires William H. Duncan.
The West Rail Bypass will replace the Brownsville-Matamoros (B&M) Rail Bridge, which was completed in 1910. The new crossing is designed to alleviate urban congestion and address safety concerns by re-routing rail traffic out of the most populated areas in Brownsville and Matamoros, while expanding regional transportation capacity. The flow of traffic, goods, and people in both Matamoros and Brownsville will improve substantially as will environmental conditions in the region. Crossing times between both countries for passenger and cargo vehicles will be reduced, boosting regional economic development.
“In an increasingly globalized economy, our collective competitiveness depends on our ability to replace outdated infrastructure and continue to develop a modern, efficient, and secure border,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker. “That is why we are prioritizing the development and execution of border infrastructure projects like this one.”
The U.S.-Mexico border is already an essential artery of prosperity for both countries. To ensure that North America remains the most competitive region in the world, we must continue to enhance our mechanisms for doing business with one another. Due to the priority which Mexico and the United States placed on our economic partnership, this project was incorporated into binational discussions in our most important cooperation mechanisms, such as the High-Level Economic Dialogue and the 21st Century Border Management Initiative – mechanisms through which our governments work together to strengthen trade, commerce, and security between our nations. The conclusion of this project exemplifies the commitment of our governments to improve infrastructure along the common border.
- Nearly $1.5 billion of goods cross between the United States and Mexico each day.
- Approximately 80 percent of U.S.-Mexico goods trade crosses our border via road and rail.
- U.S. imports from Mexico contain as much as 40 percent U.S. content, which means U.S. and Mexican-made goods often cross the border multiple times in the course of being turned into a final product.