International Trade Has Boosted A Small Texas Town's Economy

Although there were concerns over what the effect on McAllen’s economy NAFTA would bring, steady growth in retail sales to visiting Mexican nationals, has been a significant economic boost to the town. Shoppers from across the border in Reynosa, Mexico as well as from the surrounding Texas towns of Edinburg and Mission, began to increase in volume through the 1990s and carry on into today. They purchase second homes, furnish their first and second homes, and even buy new and used cars in McAllen, TX. The retail market increases are along with the profits from cross-border exchange of manufacturing materials for manufactured goods under NAFTA and Maquila, which allows for duty and tariff free transport of these goods, an economic benefit for both sides.

The overall economic profile of McAllen, TX has changed significantly in the past quarter century. Due to advances in transportation, chiefly the railroad in 1904 and technological advances in irrigation techniques, McAllen was a booming agricultural center for the Rio Grande Valley. However, with the increase of agricultural imports from Mexico under NAFTA, the town had to reshape itself to cope with a new economic model. With agriculture bringing less and less revenue, McAllen found itself in the position of having to transform itself into an international trade center. It did so by offering modern facilities for commercial operations, retail sales and service businesses, business and medical office facilities and excellent industrial properties.

The economy of McAllen is also a driving force for other improvements and services that are offered to residents and visiting Mexican nationals.  These include medical services from highly respected physicians in private practice, and the 441-bed McAllen Medical Center which hosts the Rio Grande Valley’s only transplant center, as well as a certified stroke primary care center. Along with providing services for all citizens, the McAllen Medical Center also provides care and services to area military veterans, through an agreement with the Veterans Administration.

Education is also a major growth industry with Texas lawmakers considering, in the upcoming legislative session, the creation of a University and Medical School for the Rio Grande Valley that will be located in McAllen. With so much to offer residents and visitors, there is no reason at all, not to consider purchasing household needs, clothing, first and second homes or even new and used cars in McAllen, TX. With one of the state’s fastest growing economies, its strong connection to metropolitan area neighbors, McAllen is poised and ready to embrace continued growth and expansion as prosperity breeds new life into the once agricultural center. The McAllen-Edinburg-Mission metropolis is the fourth fastest growing region in the state.

Jake Alexander is a free lance writer who enjoys blogging about economics and trade. Follow him @JakeAlexander17.


  1. It is a good news. Well, with the trust in the quality of ars for sale in Texas whether it is used or barnd new, many prefer to purchase in this place which contributes to its economic boost.

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