The Gulf of Mexico States Partnership, Inc. is a private sector advocacy organization for the Gulf of Mexico border states . The Partnership supports the Gulf of Mexico Congressional Caucus in its mission of education, consensus-building and creation of new regional initiatives in the areas of transportation, homeland security, environment, economic development, education, and international trade in the border states of the Gulf of Mexico basin. The Partnership was formed as the private sector counterpart of the official 11-state member Gulf of Mexico States Accord (GOMSA). The Partnership is a 501-c-6 not-for-profit organization under the US Tax Code. The Partnership’s mission is to:
- Serve as the pre-eminent resource for the Gulf of Mexico Congressional Caucus
- Educate state and Federal policy officials on key issues affecting the Gulf of Mexico border region
- Advocate government policies that will promote the economic growth and development of the Gulf of Mexico border states , and
- Expand business opportunities for member companies.
In November 2003, the Partnership and its sister organization, the Gulf of Mexico States Accord, signed a ”Memorandum of Cooperation on Short Sea Shipping in the Gulf of Mexico” with the US Maritime Administration. In 2004, the Partnership was appointed to the Maritime Transportation System National Advisory Council (MTSNAC) by the US Department of Transportation. During 2004, the Partnership supported the formation of the Gulf of Mexico Congressional Caucus, and supported Congresswoman Katherine Harris’ request to the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) on the benefits of short sea shipping to the US transportation system.
Currently, the Partnership has three primary programs to further its mission:
The Gulf of Mexico Congressional Caucus Advisory Committee is the Partnership’s public policy initiative that works with Members of the Caucus to educate policymakers on Gulf of Mexico-related issues. The Advisory Committee hosts seminars, briefings, Congressional Delegations and regional workshops.
The Gulf of Mexico Trade Corridor Transportation Study will focus attention and leverage resources to develop America’s southern ”water border”, actions that will bolster homeland security, spur trade expansion, relieve transportation bottlenecks and reduce pollution through increased use of the Gulf’s ports and intermodal infrastructure.
The General Secretariat of the Gulf of Mexico States Accord is managed by the Partnership as a service to the Presidency and Executive Committee of the Accord, whose member states include: Campeche, Quintana Roo, Tabasco, Tamaulipas, Veracruz and Yucatan in Mexico; Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas in the US. Beginning in 2005, Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco of Louisiana is the current President of the Accord.