The U.S. Congress is reportedly evaluating the role of the North American Development Bank (NADB) as it gears up to ratify the renegotiated North American free trade (NAFTA) deal, known as United States-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) agreement.
The bank is asking for more funds from the U.S. government in order to kick-start a string of infrastructure development programs in communities along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Over the past two decades, the bank has invested more than US$8 billion in projects largely aimed at cleaning wastewater, promoting clean energy and a healthy environment. It has financed numerous wind, solar projects and biofuel projects – in addition to deploying modern technologies for wastewater treatment.
“On average, $1 in NADB financing results in $3 in infrastructure investment,” said Congressman Henry Cuellar in 2017, urging the US government allocate more money to the bank. Cuellar – who represents the 28th district of Texas, which includes nearly 280 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border – has long been lobbying for the recapitalization of the bank.
“The NADB’s work over last two decades has demonstrated the value of financing projects in the United States and Mexico shared border region. With an expanded role, it could do even more,” writes Antonio Garza, who served as US ambassador to Mexico from 2002 to 2009, in The Washington Examiner.
Analysts say the bank’s future looks brighter now than ever before. Now that Mexico has agreed to stem the flow of Central American migrants heading towards the US border, the White House is in a mood to strengthen its relationship with its neighbor.