West Texas seeing negative effects from Mexican oil price surge

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - A rise in Mexican gas prices is having a ripple effect on the U.S. side of the border. The Mexican government is moving to lift price controls on gasoline. On the free market, prices are skyrocketing. Border lawmakers say this controversial decision is spilling into West Texas.

Congressmn Cuellar (D-TX) says unrest in Mexico does nothing but hurt the U.S.

"When there’s uncertainty, you oftentimes see strife," said Congressman Will Hurd (R-TX).

Gas prices rise causing turmoil to the south. Congressman Will Hurd says the shakeup in Mexico is related to the election of President Donald Trump. With the future of the North American Free Trade Agreement up in the air, Hurd says working with our southern neighbors could help stabilize things.

"The uncertainty that you’re seeing because of the relationship between the U.S. and Mexico, you’re seeing responses in Mexico that are having an effect in our border communities," said Hurd.

Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX) says Americans used to cross the border to get gas in Mexico. Now it could be the other way around.

"We don’t want to have our neighbor right across to the south have an unrest, because gasoline prices have gone up, electricity prices have gone up, and when you have unrest that could spill over to our side and we don’t want that," said Cuellar.

Experts say the instability to the south has not been good for West Texas. As the Mexican Peso continues to weaken and wages are stagnant, the gas price hike makes everything worse.

"They have lost a good deal of their buying power here in the United States," said Brad Newton, Executive Director of Presidio Municipal Development District. "That affects our local merchants and we don’t see as many local customers as we did say a year-and-a-half ago."

He says as long as Mexicans pay world market oil prices on Mexican wages, they’re in trouble.

"We want to see trade practices between the United States and Mexico level out to where it’s fair for all parties concerned," said Newton.

Newton says when the Mexican economy suffers, so does the American economy. There is optimism surrounding this issue, but the oil market needs to stabilize before border cities can return to normal.

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