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Caught between the anti-globalist tirades of their presidential standard bearer and their state's close trade ties with Mexico, Texas congressional Republicans are straddling a tricky political line when it comes to talk of renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Republican nominee Donald Trump called NAFTA a “disaster” and backed renegotiating the pact in a policy speech in Detroit on Monday. Barring a better deal, he said, the United States should withdraw from the 22-year-old agreement that lowered trade barriers between the United States, Mexico and Canada.
Texas grassroots conservatives also want to abandon the deal. The Republican Party of Texas' 2016 platform demands “immediate withdrawal from the North American Free Trade Agreement.”
But when The Texas Tribune reached out to each of the 27 Republican members of the Texas congressional delegation, not one joined in Trump's call for renegotiating the treaty. None agreed to be interviewed, three responded with written statements and the others either did not respond or declined to comment.
“NAFTA is responsible for increasing trade between Texas and Mexico by almost 110 percent since 2004,” Rep. Will Hurd, R-San Antonio, said in a statement.