There is greater economic opportunity in this region than in almost any other part of Americas right now. Whether it's our enviable position as the world's largest bi-national metroplex, having the country's largest military installation at Ft. Bliss or the country's newest four-year medical school as the anchor for the Medical Center of the Americas, there is abundant opportunity here.
There is no excuse for an employment rate that is close to 11%, with thousands of El Pasoans out of work and many more underemployed and seeking greater opportunities.
I commit to the following:
I will make our international ports of entry and commerce a priority in order to create more jobs.
More than $70 billion in U.S./Mexico trade passes through our ports of entry every year. That's 20% of all trade between our two countries. There are nearly 40,000 jobs in El Paso dependent on that activity. I will work to focus the nation's resources on safely improving the speed and efficiency for this trade, so that we create more jobs and protect the ones that we already have. Our ports should be modern, efficient and safe instead of points of frustration for business and trade.
I will go to bat for local contractors at Ft. Bliss. Ft. Bliss expansion is producing billions of dollars in economic opportunity. Unfortunately, much of this is going out of town. Local contractors, sub-contractors and their employees are all left out. El Paso needs a congressman that will fight for every local job.
I will make sure we get federal help for the MCA. Texas Medical Center in Houston employs over 93,500 people, including 20,000 physicians, scientists, researchers and other advanced degree professionals in the life sciences. Imagine El Paso's Medical Center of the Americas having a similar impact here! The City, County and State of Texas have all invested in making this economic engine a success. Who has not? The federal government. It's time to change that, and we can do it with the right leadership.