Nearly 200 business and community leaders gathered at the La Villita Ballroom in the Marriott Plaza for Part 3 of our highly anticipated Congressional Series, featuring U.S. Congressman Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) and moderated by the Chamber’s 2018 Chairman of the Board Shaun Kennedy, San Antonio Regional Chairman of Texas Capital Bank.
The discussion began with a hot topic in the news – trade wars. Doggett explained the importance to trade to San Antonio and how the proposed and imposed tariffs would negatively impact our local economy. “If you look back over the history of this community, almost from the time of the first founders of the city, trade has been so critical,” Doggett said. He mentioned he wants to see a world that gains from fair trade. While he does believe there are unfair trade practices and provisions, he believes that negotiations rather than aggressive measures can help resolve them.
Continuing on the subject of trade, Congressman Doggett expressed his support for NAFTA 2.0 and current negotiations to modernize the 24 year-old agreement. He also stated that he does not believe exiting the agreement is the answer, given the integrated supply chains of businesses all across North America, and he applauded the progress that has been made in negotiations and would like to see it continued.
Infrastructure was another topic of discussion and something Doggett wants to see addressed. “There are transportation needs that are affecting our economy. We see our competitors in China and elsewhere getting really state-of-the-art, multimodal transportation systems, and we need to be able to compete by having 21st-century infrastructure.” He also was not supportive of President Trump’s Infrastructure Plan, which he believes would put the funding burden on states. Congressman Doggett stated that he would like to see Republicans and Democrats work to together to identify funding sources for an infrastructure plan.
The conversation concluded with a discussion on DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). Rep. Doggett touched on the importance of DACA for the business community and state’s economic well-being. He was pleased to see Southwest Airlines and several Chambers of Commerce formally opposing the State of Texas’ lawsuit against the federal government to end DACA.
Congressman Doggett has a distinguished and long-term commitment to public service, having served as a Texas State Senator and Justice on the Texas Supreme Court before entering the U.S. House. As a senior member of the prestigious House Ways and Means Committee, he is the Ranking Member on the Tax Policy Subcommittee and also serves on the Subcommittees on Trade and Human Resources as well as the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee.
Part four of the Chamber’s 2018Congressional Series will take place Tuesday, September 11, 2018 at the Norris Conference Center with Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX).