Office of the Governor Rick Perry

Gov. Rick Perry's Remarks Regarding the La Quinta Container Terminal Expansion

*Note - Gov. Perry frequently departs from prepared remarks.
Monday, September 15, 2003  •  Speech

Thank you Representative Seaman, it is good to be with you and the former representative from Portland, Judy Hawley. I am honored to be with so many city, county and port officials from the Coastal Bend, as well as representatives of Gulf Compress.

On this historic day, the Dies y Seis de Septembre, we not only celebrate the courage of past generations, but the prospects for a brighter future. With all the bad news that we have heard in recent years about our national economy, it is encouraging to know that the people of the Coastal Bend region are focused on new opportunities, new jobs and new markets. I believe we will look back on this day as an historic moment because we are connecting the farmers and small businesses of South Texas to trading partners throughout the Western Hemisphere. The La Quinta Container Terminal will help us grow the South Texas economy and bolster agriculture by enhancing global trade. As an old cotton farmer, and the former Commissioner of Agriculture, I am especially proud that the first tenant, the anchor tenant, will be Gulf Compress – South Texas’ largest cotton warehouse company.

The Gulf Compress warehouse at La Quinta Terminal will help make our cotton producers more competitive by providing timely, cost-efficient access to world and domestic markets. This is good news for farmers trying to get their product to the market, for the men and women who will benefit from jobs at this container terminal, and for the Texas economy as a whole. This new container terminal is one sign of many that the Texas economy is rebounding, growing and poised to help lead America out of tough times.

The positive trends in the Texas economy are unmistakable. In the last nine months alone I have made multiple visits to South Texas, Dallas, Houston, and Austin to announce the creation of more than 7,000 new jobs worth billions to the Texas economy. In fact, I just came from Harlingen where EchoStar Communications is creating more than 1,000 new jobs in the next three years. There are some other good signs that point to a more prosperous future. Recently, Texas surpassed California as the single largest exporter in the United States. While other states’ bond ratings have been downgraded, our bond ratings remain strong. And voters took one more very important step to protect our economy by voting for more affordable health care with the passage of Proposition 12.

In Texas, we have kept taxes low so opportunity remains unlimited. Some think we need a personal income tax. I say passing a personal income tax is the smartest thing we have never done. Instead of raising taxes, we have prioritized spending. And we have made investments in jobs one of this state’s top priorities. That’s why we created a new fund, the $295 million Texas Enterprise Fund, to new lure new jobs and opportunities to Texas. In Texas, we put jobs first because when you create jobs, you create new wealth and new revenue which can be invested into important priorities like education and health care.

I want to thank Gulf Compress for investing in the Coastal Bend, and I want to commend the Coastal Bend leaders who had a vision to expand trade and opportunity through the creation of this new container terminal. If we keep investing in jobs, the future will be unlimited.

Thank you, God bless you, and God bless Texas.

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