February Policy Update

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A Message Regarding U.S.-Mexico Relations

With the national conversation surrounding trade renegotiations, relations between the United States and Mexico have grown uncertain. Many have asked us about our stance on the issue and the Chamber’s plans to protect cross-border commerce.

Our position is (and will always be) our mission: to be the leading advocate for business policy and connections in the San Diego-Baja region. This includes taking the lead on binational public-private partnerships, being a strong advocate for cross-border commerce, facilitating conversations on international policies that affect San Diego businesses, and educating the public on how international trade directly benefits local economies.

With San Diego’s exports to Mexico totaling more than $5.5 billion, San Diego and Baja are powerful partners in business with intertwined economies. By working together and combining our strengths, I am confident we will overcome any obstacle by tapping into our great potential that makes our region a top global competitor.

Jerry Sanders
President & CEO

sacramento trip

TMRW: Hotel Reservation Block for Chamber Delegation
to Sacramento Ends

Business leaders wishing to join the Chamber Delegation to Sacramento on February 28 – March 1 have until Friday, February 10 (tomorrow) to reserve their room in the Chamber’s hotel reservation block.

The Sacramento delegation trip is an excellent way to build relationships with San Diego’s prominent business leaders while making your voice heard on legislation impacting the business community.

Save $100 and submit your application by Thursday, February 21.

mexico city trip

Early Bird Registration for the Delegation Trip to Mexico City
Ends Feb. 24

Join the Chamber’s binational delegation to Mexico City on March 26-29! As a delegate, participants will attend exclusive, high-level meetings with Mexican legislators and collaborate on international policies that affect San Diego’s business community.

This year, confirmed speakers include: J. Enrique Espinosa Velasco, Senior Partner at SAI Consulting and participant in the negotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Juan Ernesto Pardinas Carpizo, Director of Mexican Institute of Competitiveness and former advisor for President Obama’s Council on Open Government, and a meeting with Mexico’s Senate.

Chamber members: save $600 and submit your application before the Friday, February 24 early bird deadline.

San-Diego-Skyline

Regional Jobs Strategy Develops Road Map for Job Growth
While San Diego is fortunate to have numerous organizations helping to grow our economy and create more jobs, there hasn’t been a region-wide plan that aligns efforts for leveraging resources and initiatives – until now.

Released today, the Regional Jobs Strategy Final Report is a road map for jobs creation outlining the challenges our region faces and how best to address them which all Regional Jobs Strategy partners can implement.

Read the full press release here.

Cross-Border-Vision-Luncheon

Macroeconomics Expert Shares Insight on Immigration and U.S.-Mexico Trade Relations
Nearly 150 business leaders gathered for the Chamber’s Cross-Border Vision for 2017 Luncheon, which featured a keynote presentation from Dr. Lee E. Ohanian, Professor of Economics at UCLA and former advisor to the presidential campaigns of John McCain, Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush.

Read the full event recap and discussion notes here.

Coronado-Bridge

San Diego County Water Authority Declares End of Drought
Earlier this month, the San Diego County Water Authority declared an end to the drought in the county, however state officials decided to keep the water-use restrictions in place.

Since there is no official definition for statewide drought, it’s up to Governor Brown to decide when to lift these regulations. The Chamber will continue to monitor any actions taken in Sacramento and advocate for San Diego to receive credit for its diverse water portfolio.

Read more here.

Border-Caucus-Jerry-Sanders

Chamber CEO Delivers Testimony on Border Economics at Congressional Hearing
Chamber President & CEO Jerry Sanders was invited by Congressmember Scott Peters to be one of ten individuals to testify at a meeting of the Congressional Border Caucus in Washington, D.C. The bipartisan hearing brought local perspectives from across the nation to counter the proposals of the Trump administration that threaten border commerce.

Read more here.

Houses

Housing Summit Hosted at City Hall
Since the coalition’s inception, the Chamber has participated as a member of Housing You Matters, which works to find solutions to the region’s housing problem. It’s goal is simple- make housing more affordable for San Diegans by increasing the supply of homes.

On January 26, Chamber staff testified at a Housing Summit hosted by the City of San Diego’s Smart Growth & Land Use Committee, focusing on the economic implications of failing to add new housing units to the city’s stock.

Read more here.

Car

San Diego Named as Testbed for Self-Driving Cars
The Chamber officially joined the Californians for Safe, Self-Driving Cars coalition, a statewide group working to promote self-driving or autonomous vehicle usage. Officials from the group selected San Diego as a pilot city because of its ‘global reputation as a high-tech hub and extensive highway system.’

Read the full story here.

San-Diego

Convention Center Expansion Project Gets Green Light
Last month, Superior Court Judge Joel Wohlfeil ruled the planned contiguous convention center expansion complies with CEQA and the California Coastal Act. The timing of the decision comes at an opportune time for Mayor Kevin Faulconer who, during his State of the City, revealed a proposal to raise the Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) to fund the expansion.

Read more here.