San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro hosted a conference celebrating the 20th anniversary of the creation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). In a welcoming address he called for enhancing the tri-national agreement.

Representing the Mexican government, Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan announced a major trade enhancement and integration agreement with the United States. He said that the trade destined for the U.S. market that arrives at a Mexican sea port will be inspected on arrival (presumably by representatives of both the Mexican and U.S. governments) and then it would be released to travel into the U.S. without further inspection. This will give significant advantages to Mexican ports over U.S. West Coast ports for shipments from Asia destined for East of the Mississippi.

According to Mexico Trucker Online Amb. Sarukhan also advocated a process of backdoor integration towards achievement of a seamless North American Union through this type of trade arrangements because of the lack of political support in the United States for expanding NAFTA. He is quoted as saying, “I don’t think there’s the interest in deepening NAFTA, but the beauty of TPP [Trans Pacific Partnership] is we can do it through the back door, by having Mexico, Canada, and the United States join the TPP and bring us up from the bootstraps.”