Your Connection

to the

Ports-to-Plains Region

July 5, 2017

Volume Number 15
Issue Number 13

I hope everyone had a great holiday with Independence Day yesterday in the U.S. and Canada Day this past Saturday. As each nation celebrates its birthday, it is a good time to reflect on the strong two-way trade relationship between neighbors. In 2016 U.S. – Canada trade was valued at $662 billion, almost the same as U.S. – China trade that came in at $663 billion. But the trade relationships are very different. Trade between America is much more balanced, with Canada purchasing $337 billion in American goods and services and the U.S. purchasing $325 billion in Canadian goods and services. Canada is the largest export market for U.S. goods purchasing 15% of America’s goods and services. Of the $663 billion in trade with China, $500 billion came in the form of Chinese exports to the U.S. And while we are speaking of our neighbors, Mexico comes in as the U.S. third largest trade partner with $586 billion in trade.

These numbers mean there is a lot of freight moving across the continent, supporting a lot of jobs in the process. That is why we need to invest in transportation infrastructure to improve our ability to move freight and be economically competitive. There are not many major north-south trade corridors in the U.S. west of Interstate 35. That is why it is important to fully develop the Ports-to-Plains Corridor, so that our region can connect economically with our biggest customers.

We will fully explore this and other topics at the 20th Ports-to-Plains Annual Conference, September 12 – 14 at the Overton Hotel and Conference Center in Lubbock, Texas. We will have full details released soon, but you will want to be sure to mark the dates on your calendar and not miss this great event.

 Michael Reeves, President

We are a voice for our small town, grassroots members who may otherwise not have access to the right audiences, as well as a conduit for industry to come together in support and promotion of transportation improvements.

We are committed to working as an Alliance to improve transportation infrastructure and business networks opportunities, by advocating for appropriate funding levels, so business and industry can thrive.

We are focused on the economic and business interests that are the lifeblood of the region.


 Extension of I-27/Ports to Plains Corridor

The proposed extension of Interstate 27 intersects with Interstate 40, Interstate 20 and Interstate 10 and will serve three border crossings with Mexico at Del Rio, Eagle Pass and Laredo.

Has your organization considered the resolution supporting the Extension of Interstate 27?

Have you individually added your name supporting the Resolution?

Please share with your Texas Friends!

Please click here to add your personal name to the Resolution in Support of Expansion on Interstate 27

Please click here to downland a draft organizational resolution for consideration by local governments and non-profit organizations.  (Word Document) 

Thune, Roberts Urge USTR to Strengthen Agricultural Trade in NAFTA Negotiations


WASHINGTON — U.S. Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.), a longtime member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, and Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), chairman of the Agriculture Committee, today were joined by 15 of their colleagues in urging U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to strengthen agricultural trade as the administration prepares to begin negotiations to update the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

“As Senators representing states with significant agricultural exports, we appreciate the careful approach the administration is taking to strengthen the NAFTA agreement, while ensuring that no changes are made that could result in harm to U.S. agriculture,” the senators wrote. “We look forward to working with you throughout the congressional consultation process to ensure that NAFTA continues its substantial economic contributions to U.S. farmers and ranchers and to the growth of our agricultural economy.”

Last month, the Trump administration notified Congress of its intent to open negotiations with Canada and Mexico with respect to NAFTA. The notification triggers a 90-day consultation period under the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 (TPA), and the administration is required to provide specific negotiating objectives at least 30 days before any negotiations begin.

Since NAFTA was signed into law in 1993, Canada and Mexico have been two of the top five destinations for U.S. agriculture products. Last year, the two countries accounted for 28 percent of the value of total agriculture exports from the United States. Since NAFTA’s enactment, livestock and meat exports to Canada have doubled and agriculture commodity exports to Mexico have increased significantly. South Dakota’s exports to Canada and Mexico have increased by $1.2 billion (969 percent) since NAFTA went into effect in 1994.

Read on...

*Six senators from Ports to Plains states signed the letter – Sen. John Thune (R-SD), Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND), Sen. Deb Fischer (R-NE), Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT), Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD)

 Manufacturers Group Names Five Keys To Modernizing U.S. Infrastructure 

The U.S. is beginning to lose its infrastructure advantage, which could have wide-ranging consequences, according to the Association of Equipment Manufacturers. The group is offering a five-step plan to help reverse this decline.

The United States is underinvesting in infrastructure and, as a result, is in danger of losing its standing on the global economic stage, says a report published earlier this month by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM).

For average Americans, the effect is visible: passengers frustrated by delays caused by power outages and other failures in public transit, commuters ensnared in traffic jams because of structurally declining highway systems, and businesses uprooting their operations to invest in countries with expanding infrastructure.

In “The U.S. Infrastructure Advantage,” AEM offers five key steps that policymakers and infrastructure stakeholders can take to put the U.S. on the path to reclaiming its infrastructure advantage:

  • focus on networks and systems
  • maximize use of smart technology
  • ensure rural-urban connectivity
  • expedite project delivery
  • provide adequate and reliable resources

Since AEM’s members and stakeholders rely heavily on a network of roadways, highways, waterways, and ports to meet delivery needs, they are well acquainted with the current state of U.S. infrastructure. “They are the ones that have the real stories to tell about how this impacts their businesses and how this impacts their lives,” said Kate Wood, campaign director of AEM’s Infrastructure Vision 2050 initiative, which released the report.

Read on...

Canada’s Trump Strategy: Go Around Him 

TORONTO — As President Trump disrupts alliances across the map, nearly every level of government in Canada has taken on new duties in a quietly audacious campaign to cajole, contain and if necessary coerce the Americans.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s strategy for managing Mr. Trump is unlike anything tried by another ally. And he has largely succeeded where even experienced leaders like Angela Merkel of Germany have fallen short.

More than perhaps any other country, Canada relies on the United States, which accounts for 70 percent of its trade. Its sizable manufacturing industry is tightly integrated with American production, meaning even a slight hardening of the border or prolonged trade negotiations could put its economy at risk.

Laid in the first days after Mr. Trump’s election win, the plan even enlists Brian Mulroney, a former Conservative prime minister and political nemesis of Mr. Trudeau’s father, who had also been prime minister. Mr. Mulroney knows Mr. Trump and his commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross, from social circuits in southern Florida, where all three keep vacation homes.

Read on... 

Take Part in the Annual Meeting of Mayors 

Eagle Pass, Tx.- This year's edition of the Annual Meeting of Mayors of the United States was held, with Ramsey English Cantú, who along with the other authorities focused on addressing issues such as policies that encourage employment and federal investments in infrastructure.

The meeting, which was attended by thousands of municipal representatives from all over the country, was held in Miami, Florida.

The meeting dealt with the administration of President Donald Trump, who promised to provide great financial assistance for the creation Of a national reconstruction plan. Mayor Ramsey English Cantú stated that they also presented other points such as the importance of collaborative work between small and large entities to achieve growth and mainly create better and more jobs to increase the quality of life of citizens.

Cantú said that during the meeting he had the opportunity to dialogue with Bill Di Blassio, mayor of the city with the greatest number of inhabitants in the United States, that is, New York; With whom he discussed in particular the importance of the Community Development Scholarships and the support of the federal government for all types of entities.

He mentioned that messages have been sent to the White House to express the importance of the Global Development Grants program, which provides communities with resources to address a wide range of unique needs for the development of the city. It is important to maintain these subsidies for the United States.

Mark your Calendars to join us for the
20th Anniversary Reunion Ports-to-Plains Alliance Conference
September 12-14, 2017 -- Lubbock, TX!
Registration opens in Mid-July

Upcoming Events


September 12 - Quarterly Ports-to-Plains Board Meeting, Lubbock, TX

September 12-14 - 20th Annual Ports-to-Plains Alliance Conference, Lubbock, TX

 Ports-to-Plains Alliance Staff

Michael Reeves
5401 N MLK Blvd. #395
Lubbock, TX 79403
P: 806-775-2338
F: 806-775-3981

Duffy Hinkle
Vice President of Membership & Marketing
5401 N MLK Blvd. #395
Lubbock, TX 79403
P: 806-775-3373
F: 806-775-3981

Joe Kiely
Vice President of Operations
PO Box 9
Limon, CO 80828
P: 719-740-2240
F: 719-775-9073

Jeri Strong
Executive Assistant
Ports-To-Plains Alliance
5401 N. MLK Blvd. Ste. 395
Lubbock, TX 79403
P: 806-775-3369

Richard "Buzz" David
Economic and Business Development
5629 NE Foster Rd.
Bainbridge Island, WA  09110
P: 806-678-3160

Cal Klewin
Executive Director
Theodore Roosevelt Expressway
PO Box 1306
22 E Broadway
Williston, ND 58802
P: 701-523-6171

Deb Cottier
Board of Directors
Heartland Expressway Association
706 West Third St.
Chadron, NE 69337
P: 308-432-4023

Jay Slemp
Eastern Alberta Trade Corridor
212 2nd Ave. W
Box 820
Hanna AB T0J 1P0
P: 403-854-0424