Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Date



The following paper analyzes New Mexico's preparations for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and increased trade with Mexico from a transportation perspective. It incorporates recent federal legislation -- the 1991 Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act -- into an exploration of how New Mexico is preparing for increased trade with Mexico. The paper argues three main points: 1. That although New Mexico has begun to lay the ground work for increased trade with Mexico through the opening of the Dona Ana County/Santa Teresa crossing, the establishment of a trade office in Mexico City, and a government mindset more oriented toward foreign trade, the state still trails behind California, Texas and Arizona in its preparations for the NAFTA and/or increased trade with Mexico; 2. That the competitive overtones in the relationship among El Paso, TX, Ciudad Juarez, Chih., and Dona Ana County, NM, over a potential intermodal site and border infrastructure improvements and additions, hinders the potential gains for the entire region which could result from increased trade with Mexico. The competition, though lessening, divides issues along state, and even city lines, rather than promoting regional cooperation; 3. That New Mexico, like the other border states, stands to gain from the NAFTA not only by becoming part of a trade corridor but also by providing access to the US transportation network through her border crossings.


Center for Regional Studies Papers 102


Southwest Hispanic Research Institute; Center for Regional Studies


SW Hispanic Research Institute