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Ambassador Kirk Joins Mexican President Felipe Calderon for Anzaldúas International Bridge Dedication

On January 11, United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk joined President Felipe Calderón of Mexico, as well as other American and Mexican officials, to celebrate the opening of Anzaldúas International Bridge. The bridge, which connects McAllen, Texas and Reynosa, Tamaulipas (Mexico), is the first new Land Point of Entry between the United States and Mexico, and the first new U.S.-Mexico border crossing, in ten years.

Ambassador Kirk and Mexican President Felipe Calderon

The Anzaldúas International Bridge, which is a passenger vehicle and pedestrian processing facility, provides a modern link between the fast-growing lower Rio Grande Valley region of Texas and the industrially important areas of Reynosa and Monterrey in northern Mexico.

Mexico is the number one trading partner for twenty-two American states, and cross border trade totals more than $1 billion every day. Each year, millions of Americans benefit from the jobs that have been created as a result of U.S.-Mexican trade.

Ambassador Kirk and Mexican President Felipe Calderon

Below are excerpts from Ambassador Kirk's remarks that he gave during the Anzaldúas International Bridge Ceremony. The full remarks are available here.

"This bridge is a link between Mexico and America, between north and south. It is also a potent symbol of our connectedness. This bridge says, we are neighbors. It says, we welcome our neighbors. We welcome new cross-cultural understanding and new cross-border trade between our two countries.

"In fact, this bridge represents the most fundamental kind of trade: people-to-people transactions. I'm talking about Mexican and American families crossing the river to shop, to visit, to provide a service, or to get a meal - to literally get a taste of the other side. These are the daily transactions that tie us together.

"...Sometimes, people forget just how important U.S.-Mexico trade is to both our economies.

"This bridge ... is indicative of closer U.S.-Mexico relations and a strong strategic partnership."