Houston Business Journal - 2:09 PM CDT Monday
Government, business officials participate in CAFTA rally
Jenna Colley
Houston Business Journal

U.S. Congressman Kevin Brady, R-The Woodlands, gathered with several other local government officials and business executives on Monday at the Port of Houston Authority to rally congressional support, particularly from Houston-area representatives, for the passage of the Central American Free Trade Agreement.

Already approved by the U.S. Senate, the House of Representatives is likely to vote on the trade deal in the coming days. Approval in the House would send the deal to President George W. Bush's desk.

The trade pact is expected to create 3,000 new jobs for Texas during its first year and an additional 16,000 in its first decade, according to representatives from Brady's office.

In 2004, Texas was the third-largest exporter to CAFTA countries -- sending exports totaling nearly $1.7 billion.

Brady believes that the Port of Houston, Houston Airport System, and more than 1,200 local companies employing thousands of the workers in the Houston region already doing business in Central America would benefit if the trade agreement passes.

Joining Brady at the rally Monday were U.S. Congressman Mike McCaul, R-Dallas; Port of Houston Chairman Jim Edmonds; Greater Houston Partnership CEO Jeff Moseley and Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce CEO Iris Correa, among others.