Like many other U.S. banks in communities that hug the Rio Grande, International Bank of Commerce in Laredo, Tex., depends on trade with Mexico.

The $4.5 billion-asset bank says more than half of its loans are connected to such trade, largely through direct financing for importers, exporters, shippers, and foreign factories. Business has been especially brisk since the North American Free Trade Agreement was ratified in late 1993, said president Dennis E. Nixon.

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