NAFTA Revision Could Mean Energy Independence

Revising the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) could mean energy independence for North America, according to Railroad Commissioner, Christi Craddick. 

Related: Eagle Ford Shale and Mexico: An Important Partnership

Last month, the Trump Administration announced its intention to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Formal negotiations could begin with Mexico and Canada as early as August 16th.

The original agreement was negotiated over 23 years ago and lacks important regulations for e-commerce, intellectual property, and tougher environmental standards.

Texas has a lot riding on the future of NAFTA. Mexico and Canada are the state's largest trading partners, with billion changing hands every year and thousands of jobs at stake. 

  • Texas exported over $232 billion of goods and services in 2016
  • Texas exported $93 billion to Mexico
  • Texas exported almost $20 billion to Canada in 2016
  • In 2014, over 41,000 Texas companies exported goods from a Texas address

Railroad Commissioner, Christi Craddock wrote an article last week hailing the importance of NAFTA negotiations to the oil and gas industry in Texas. She emphasized the work that has taken place over the last two years building the infrastructure to move natural gas to Mexico. Renegotiations might allow for better coordination of these efforts. 

Overall, NAFTA has been great for Texas. We run a trade surplus with our neighbor to the south, with Mexican exports accounting for 6 percent of the state’s GDP, compared to 1.3 percent nationwide. However, there are some areas where the original 1993 agreement is either silent or outdated. President Trump’s plans to work with Canadian and Mexican officials to revise the treaty could offer U.S. businesses and consumers a once-in-a-generation opportunity to build on what came before. Given my focus in the energy sector, three areas I would like to see included in negotiations relate to energy infrastructure, investment and the environment.
— Christi Craddick, Texas Railroad Commissioner

Craddick expressed hopes that Texas will provide leadership in the negotiations. As one of the leading regulators of oil and gas in the world, the Railroad Commission has led the way in developing best practices and standards.