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Secretary Hughs convenes third Border Trade Advisory Committee meeting of 2020

Staff Writer
Runnels County Register
Texas Secretary of State Ruth Hughs convened via video conference the third Border Trade Advisory Committee (BTAC) meeting of 2020, co-hosted by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), to bring together stakeholders from throughout the Texas-Mexico border region to advance initiatives to address challenges related to international trade with Mexico.

AUSTIN - Texas Secretary of State Ruth Hughs today convened via video conference the third Border Trade Advisory Committee (BTAC) meeting of 2020, co-hosted by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), to bring together stakeholders from throughout the Texas-Mexico border region to advance initiatives to address challenges related to international trade with Mexico. The Secretary and Committee members were joined by representatives from each of Mexico's adjoining border states with Texas, as well as by representatives of the Mexican federal government.

"Because the economies of Texas and Mexico are mutually interdependent, now more than ever, because of COVID-19, we must continue to not only maintain but also strengthen our lines of communication," said Secretary Hughs. "I thank BTAC members from our border communities, TxDOT, and our state, federal and international partners for their invaluable input in helping to craft a comprehensive transportation master plan, and I look forward to continuing our work to establish a brighter future for all on both sides of the border."

Following a TxDOT presentation outlining border infrastructure investments, cross border traffic volume and border crossing wait times, Committee members provided feedback specific to challenges facing their respective communities, including the impact of COVID-19. The Committee closed by reaffirming the need for stakeholders to continue discussions with all involved parties to craft a comprehensive transportation master plan.

The Texas-Mexico Border Transportation Master Plan (BTMP), expected to be completed in 2020, is designed to identify transportation infrastructure challenges, solicit feedback from stakeholders throughout the border region, and implement long-term strategies for continuing to facilitate cross-border trade. Input gathered at BTAC meetings help to identify areas in which local, state, and U.S. and Mexican federal officials can coordinate to improve efficiency in the movement of freight, goods, and people across Texas' 28 ports of entry.