Santa Teresa binational community expected to be a game-changer

EL PASO, Texas - It's being touted as a game-changer for cross-border trade with Mexico.

But it's not in Texas, it's in New Mexico.

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez and Chihuahua Gov. Cesar Duarte held news conferences on both sides of the border today to announce creation of a new 70,000 acre binational community in Santa Teresa and San Jeronimo, Chihuahua.

"This is the most exciting thing that's happened to this area in years, in decades," said Louie Navar, who works for JH Rose, a logistics company in Santa Teresa.
Navar believes the new binational community, connecting Santa Teresa with San Jeronimo, will completely transform the area.

"In the next 10 years, you will not recognize Santa Teresa," he said, pointing out the relocation of Union Pacific's new intermodal facility from El Paso to Santa Teresa has already made a huge difference. "If you've flown over this area, as I have, you can see the Union Pacific and what it's doing. It is a monster and that is going to attract more business."

"There are tremendous advantages to large manufacturers and logistics companies for locating in this area," said Martinez, who has passed several pieces of legislation in recent years to make it all possible.

She said it will not only attract companies, but residents, calling it a game-changer for the area.

"We are directly between two major seaports in Houston and Long Beach and we understand the importance of building this community to become competitive," Martinez said, "not just domestically, but globally."

Martinez made no bones about the desire to make New Mexico the authority on cross-border trade, stating that she wants to put it on par with Texas and pointing out last year New Mexico was the number one state when it comes to export growth.

"We want them to look at New Mexico and they've looked at Texas for a long time and (texas) Gov. (Rick) Perry is very good about competing with us and with California and Arizona," she said, "and that's what we're supposed to do."
ABC-7 asked both Navar and Martinez whether it's could steal some cross-border trade from El Paso.

"Maybe just a little bit, maybe just a bit," said Navar. "We're going to be big contenders on the cross border area with Texas."

Gov. Martinez pointed out that the Santa Teresa Port of Entry is a bit different because it's a land port and not a bridge, allowing trucks with much heavier loads to cross, which means fewer trips back and forth for companies who she expects to see a big advantage to that in the future.

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