Incentive Issues

Recently, there have been questions raised regarding the fairness of the use of the Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF), a key aspect of the state’s economic development incentives. At issue is whether the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex gets a disproportionate share of awards. The TEF is an important “deal closing” fund which has been effectively used to enhance Texas’ ability to attract desirable corporate locations and expansions. […]

Trade Tension

The situation between the United States and China is tense, with new tariffs, threats of more tariffs, and growing fears that an all-out trade war may actually happen. There has recently been some sign of softening in the rhetoric between the two nations, but until and unless there is real dialogue and meaningful change, the risk of an escalation remains. Because it’s the world’s two […]

The Texas Economic Forecast

The Texas economy has been growing at a relatively healthy pace and the Lone Star State is widely recognized as a good place to live and do business. Our most recent projections indicate that the state economy is set to continue its upward trend. Recovery in the energy sector is improving conditions not only in producing areas, but also in other parts of the state. […]

Eighth Time’s the Charm

So far, there have been seven rounds of negotiations among the United States, Mexico, and Canada trying to agree on an update to NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Agreement), which was originally passed and signed into law in late 1993. Many things have changed since that time, most notably the emergence of the digital economy and all that it entails and the energy policies […]

Another Win for Texas

Texas continued its streak of wins of Site Selection Magazine’s “Governor’s Cup” competition, which goes to the state with the most major corporate location and expansion projects in a year. The 2017 win is the sixth in a row, and the Lone Star State also won in 2004, 2005, and 2010 (and was a close second in several of the years between). It’s impressive by […]

Keeping the Texas Economy on Track

The Texas economy has been turning in impressive results, winning major corporate locations, and expansions and adding jobs at a notable pace. This success is no accident, though we do have substantial advantages to work with, but rather the result of decades of purposeful and strategic efforts to develop the economy in ways that enhance prosperity. Economic performance is essential in order to provide opportunity […]

Of Tariffs, Trade, and Turmoil

A recent announcement by President Trump that he would push for across-the-board tariffs on steel and aluminum set off a firestorm including threats of retaliation from a number of nations (including some of our oldest and closest allies), a significant drop in the stock market, and more dissension and division in Washington. There is good cause for alarm, because if they are enacted, such tariffs […]

The US-Mexico Border Region

While rich in economic diversity, the vast border region between the United States and Mexico shares many complex and inextricable linkages. Geographic proximity and centuries of interaction have brought a unique social, familial, cultural, and economic melding that transcends the two countries. In particular, since the implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in the mid-1990s, the level of economic interaction has increased […]

The State of the States

A variety of factors drive economic performance, from policy decisions to industrial composition to natural resources. Some of these can be influenced over time such as by fostering a climate which is business friendly or targeting particular industries for development efforts. It is also possible to enhance growth by encouraging education and training which meets the needs of growing firms, and cycles within industries can […]

Federal Budget Challenges

The federal budget process is incredibly complicated. With a population of more than 327 million, nearly four million square miles of land area, and the largest economy in human history, sheer size is one reason for the difficulty. Add to that partisan politics, a long history of deficits, some genuine and pressing needs, and a large and growing debt level, and the challenge escalates further. […]