After Texas Governor Greg Abbot caused delays in cross-border trade through April 2022, the Mexican government began designing plans to change the route of a railway system that aims to connect Mexico, the US and Canada: the USMCA Corridor, which would strengthen Mexico’s strategic industrial position in North America.
Mexican diplomats met with Alejandro Mayorkas, the US Secretary of Homeland Security, to talk about a railway that would connect Mexico’s Pacific Ocean ports with the San Jeronimo-Santa Teresa border crossing in New Mexico, 36km from El Paso, Texas, the original destination for the hub. The decision was made after Texas authorities implemented stricter inspections of cargo trucks coming from Mexico in an effort to pressure Mexican authorities to stop migrants from crossing the border.
“I am sure that this important project that soon begin and would connect Sinaloa with Texas, supposedly, but I think we will not go there. We will seek to link it with New Mexico instead because we cannot put all our eggs in one basket and become hostages of those who want to utilize trade as a political measure,” said Tatiana Clouthier, Mexico’s Minister of Economy.
The USMCA Corridor is a logistics project that would connect Mazatlan, Mexico to Winnipeg, Canada via a railway system. According to the plan presented in March 2021, it will consist of more than 1,000km rail, as well as refurbishing of ports, airports, logistics points and industrial plants.
The plan was sent to Congress in Dec. 2021 to be revised and is expected to pass in 1H22. According to Carlos Ortiz, CEO, Caxxor Group, the company in charge of the project’s development. The USMCA Corridor is considered project for the long term and will mainly benefit the automotive, agriculture, mining and energy sectors. Its first phase will be ready by 2024, with an estimated investment of US$3 billion. The corridor attracted the attention of more than 20 investment funds, mainly from the USA and the Emirates, as well from the Netherlands.
According to the plan, the project could utilize existing rail connections between Chihuahua, Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas. Ortiz added that the corridor has the potential to further transform Mexico into an important production point in North America and added that more than 15 companies from different sectors have shown interest operating in the four industrial parks that will be constructed in the cities of Durango, Laguna, Monclova and Nava. “These are logistics, e-commerce and aerospace companies, as well as agricultural players,” Ortiz added.