Tesla Moving to Texas? San Antonio Wants In, Local Leaders Say

Tesla moving to Texas

Following news that Tesla could be moving to Texas in or near the Austin area, the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation is hoping to sway the Silicon Valley-based electric vehicle company to plant its latest electric cybertruck factory closer to San Antonio.

“San Antonio’s expertise in the cybersecurity and automotive manufacturing sector strengthens Austin’s value proposition as a technology leader,” said Jenna Saucedo-Herrera, president and CEO of the local economic development agency. “We will continue pursuing Tesla as they consider all of their location options in the great State of Texas.”

Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently tweeted he plans to move Tesla’s headquarters from California to Nevada or Texas, following California’s response to the coronavirus, which he criticized as overreaching.

Texas formerly lost out on Tesla’s $5 billion lithium-ion battery plant in 2014 to Reno, Nevada.

The Interstate 35 corridor would present a unique opportunity for Tesla to accelerate its administrative, tech, and manufacturing operations, Saucedo-Herrera said.

The possibility of Tesla planting roots in Texas is an exciting proposition for San Antonio’s technology sector, local tech industry leaders said.

David Heard, CEO of local technology workforce advocacy group Tech Bloc, said the move would be very beneficial for all of Central Texas, including San Antonio, should Tesla follow through.

“San Antonio can supply some of the Tesla workforce as well [even if it does choose Austin],” Heard said. “We have the Alamo Colleges District, which has lots of programs set up to train talent for manufacturing jobs.”

With local manufacturers already present in or near San Antonio such as Toyota, Boeing, and Caterpillar, a move near or between San Antonio and Austin would make sense, he said.

A move away from California’s Silicon Valley would not only be “a huge validation of Central Texas as a massive mega-hub for innovation and for software development,” but “would say a lot about Texas and our economy,” Heard said.

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CBP Launches the United States-Mexico-Canada Center to Coordinate Implementation of USMCA

Originally posted on the CBP website.

WASHINGTON— To help coordinate implementation of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which enters into force on July 1, U.S. Customs and Border Protection recently opened the USMCA Center.

Staffed with CBP experts from operational, legal, and audit disciplines, as well as in collaboration with Canadian and Mexican customs authorities, the USMCA Center is a cornerstone of CBP’s USMCA implementation plan and will serve as a central communication hub for CBP and the private sector community, including traders, brokers, freight forwarders and producers, ensuring a smooth and efficient transition from the North American Free Trade Agreement to USMCA.

“The Center is integral to successful implementation of USMCA, as it will focus on outreach, training, and developing new regulations and procedures, while providing consistency and transparency to the trade community,” said Brenda Smith, Executive Assistant Commissioner of CBP’s Office of Trade. “This all comes down to making sure that American consumers get their goods safely, securely and predictably, while protecting the economic security of the United States.”

USMCA is a new trade agreement that modernizes certain NAFTA provisions, reflecting developments in technology and 21st Century supply chains.  USMCA calls for new approaches to rules of origin, agricultural market access, digital trade, and financial services while protecting the labor rights of workers in key industries, and strengthening the protection of intellectual property rights.

The USMCA Center staff will be CBP’s experts on the trade provisions of USMCA, providing guidance to private and public sector stakeholders. Center staff will facilitate a smooth transition from NAFTA by coordinating and scheduling outreach events, responding to training requests, developing and distributing information resources, and updating CBP regulations on pending USMCA topics/issues, while also providing clear and transparent technical guidance on USMCA’s new compliance obligations. Center staff will work closely with Centers of Excellence and Expertise and the ports to ensure CBP’s implementation is uniform and supports U.S. economic security.

Please note: NAFTA rules will continue to apply until July 1 when USMCA enters into force.

Additional information about the agreement, compliance guidance, and implementation efforts may be found on the agency's USMCA webpage. Inquiries for the USMCA Center can be directed to USMCA@cbp.dhs.gov.

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Port Laredo once again the nation’s No. 1 gateway for international trade

Port Laredo

Originally Published in FreightWaves

Port Laredo has regained the No. 1 spot among the nation’s 450 international gateways for trade, topping the Port of Los Angeles for the second time in a year.

During February, Port Laredo recorded $18.6 billion in two-way trade, while the Port of Los Angeles had $17.2 billion, according to the latest U.S. Census Bureau data analyzed by WorldCity.

Port Laredo’s new ranking is tied to the ongoing U.S.-China trade war and the coronavirus pandemic that has hurt the Port of Los Angeles, said Ken Roberts, an economist at WorldCity.

“A stunning development the first time, the result of the impact of the U.S.-China trade war on the [Port of Los Angeles], this time it’s the one-two punch of the ongoing trade war and the coronavirus pandemic that has sent it, the U.S. economy and the global economy, reeling,” Roberts said in Forbes.

The Port of Los Angeles fell to second, largely because of its dependence on Chinese imports, Roberts said. The ports trade with the world declined 15.2% in February, according to WorldCity.

Port Laredo, located in South Texas along the U.S.-Mexico border, is made up of four international vehicle bridges, one international rail bridge and an international airport.

Around 16,000 trucks cross the port’s bridges daily, totaling $231.58 billion in imports and exports in 2019.

Port Laredo previously surpassed the Port of Los Angeles in March 2019 as the nation’s number one trade hub. It was the first time in the port’s 168-year history that it ranked first. The Port of Los Angeles regained the top spot a month later in April 2019.

Roberts predicted that Port Laredo will be the leading trade port for the foreseeable future due to its proximity to Mexico, the U.S.-China trade war and the lasting effects of the coronavirus.

Mexico finished 2019 as the leading U.S. trading partner for the first time in history and continues to be the nation’s top trading partner for the first two months of 2020.

“This time, unlike last time, it is not likely to be a one-month aberration,” Roberts said. “Port Laredo passed the Port of Los Angeles before the full brunt of the impact of coronavirus would have even hit the Los Angeles seaport.”

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