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What We're Reading
America's economic relationships across borders have been one of the central themes in this year's election. In fact, it may be the dominant economic theme.
Two articles this week in the Dallas Morning News highlight why it is important to cultivate and maintain those relationships. The first one appeared Monday in The News' business section. Among other things, the piece by reporter Jill Cowan shows how the making of automobiles occurs seamlessly across the Texas/Mexico border.
Officials in Bexar County, which centers on San Antonio, even have dubbed the work that goes on between their part of the state and northern Mexico the Texas-Mexico Automotive Supercluster. Admittedly, that's a mouthful, but the region does allow both sides of the border to share in the manufacturing of various parts.
The piece is worth reading as well for its data points, including that 29 auto assembly plants are located across this binational region. The report also underscores that trying to restrict the flow of goods across our borders would be both difficult to achieve and economically costly.
The second piece came a few days later, when The News editorialized about the dangers of the protectionist mindset. The editorial warned against ditching NAFTA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and the harm those moves would have on the U.S. Economy. As The News wrote, "Global economies prosper from trade and technological innovations."
Both pieces are worth the quick read. And their points are worth recalling as America's economic relationships are questioned during the rest of the campaign. We indeed need to care for individuals and communities adversely affected by trading agreements. But we disrupt those relationships at our peril.
William McKenzie is editorial director for the George W. Bush Institute, where he also serves as editor of The Catalyst: A Journal of Ideas from the Bush Institute.
Active in education issues, he co-teaches an education policy class at SMU’s Simmons School of Education and Human Development. He also participates in the Bush Institute’s school accountability project.
Before joining the Bush Institute, the Fort Worth native served 22 years as an editorial columnist for the Dallas Morning News and led the newspaper’s Texas Faith blog. The University of Texas graduate’s columns appeared nationwide and he has won a Pulitzer Prize and commentary awards from the Education Writers Association, the American Academy of Religion, and the Texas Headliners Foundation, among other organizations. He still contributes columns and essays for the Morning News and The Weekly Standard.
Before joining the News in 1991, he earned a master’s degree in political science from the University of Texas at Arlington and spent a dozen years in Washington, D.C. During that time, he edited the Ripon Forum.
McKenzie has served as a Pulitzer Prize juror, on the board of a homeless organization, and on governing committees of a Dallas public school. He also is an elder of the First Presbyterian Church in Dallas, where he lives with his wife and their twin children.Full Bio
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