News & Updates

Tax Reform

The President and Congress have shifted their legislative priority to tax reform with the objectives to simplify the tax code and make corporate taxes more competitive globally. A recent Chamber survey of San Diego County businesses found that when considering the health of the overall economy, over 70 percent of firms think it is at least somewhat important to adopt comprehensive federal tax reform. Front and center in this discussion is whether deductions such as the State and Local Tax deduction will remain.

CBP Announces Unified Cargo Inspection Pilot Program at Otay Mesa Cargo Facility

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Mexico’s Tax Administration Service (SAT) have partnered to conduct joint cargo inspections to reduce border wait times. The cross-border collaboration will be conducted at the Otay Mesa Cargo Facility and it will be under the Unified Cargo Processing pilot program.

The pilot program kicked off last week and seeks to enhance national security for both countries while demonstrating a shared commitment to facilitating cross border commerce. The pilot will serve Free and Secure Trade (FAST) participants with the following operating hours: Monday-Friday from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., and Saturday-Sunday and holidays from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

The Chamber applauds CBP for the pilot program and will continue to advocate for its expansion and permanence in order to increase cross-border commerce in the in the Cali-Baja region and binational collaboration between Mexico and the United States.

Tribute Dinner Honors Ambassador Celorio, Padres, and UCSD

The International Tribute Awards Dinner recognizes outstanding individuals and organizations that have made a significant impact in the binational efforts bridging U.S. and Mexican economies. This year, the Chamber is proud to present the following awards:

  • Binational Leader of the Year – Ambassador Marcela Celorio, who serves as Mexico’s Consul General in San Diego
  • Binational Business of the Year Award – San Diego Padres, for their determination in empowering the Latino groups in San Diego
  • Cross-Border Collaboration Award – University of California San Diego for their efforts and leadership incorporating the Latino community through programs that foster opportunity, open dialogue, and cross-cultural collaboration.

As the Chamber’s signature international event, the Tribute Dinner welcomes over 200 elected officials, business, and community leaders from the U.S. and Mexico. The event takes place on Wednesday, October 25, 2017 at Omni San Diego Hotel.

Please click here for more information and to reserve your ticket.

33rd Annual Industrial Environmental Association Conference

Join the Industrial Environmental Association, California Manufacturers & Technology Association, and over 450 representatives from Southern California manufacturing companies at the 33rd Annual Environmental Training Symposium and Conference on

October 30 & 31. This is the West Coast’s premier event for environmental compliance updates, networking with regulators and environmental compliance managers. Register now at

NAFTA Negotiations Continue

The third round of NAFTA negotiations were held in Ottawa, Canada, from September 23 – 27, 2017. Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland; Mexican Secretary of Economy Ildefonso Guajardo, and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, concluded that agreed changes will increase the region’s competitiveness.

Highlights include:

  • A new chapter focused on small and medium-size enterprises (SME) has been added to the agreement. This chapter will stimulate growth in startups and micro businesses and establishes a NAFTA Trilateral SME Dialogue.
  • Significant progress was made in the areas of competitiveness, customs, telecommunications, digital trade, and sanitary measurements.

Challenges ahead:

  • The U.S. aims to eliminate private arbitration panels which can overrule tariffs, whereas Canada seeks to keep this chapter which is considered one of the “great achievements of the initial deal” by Freeland.
  • Mexico’s low wages became an increasing point of debate. Lighthizer expressed interest in having higher wages which will make it less attractive for manufacturers.

The fourth round of NAFTA Negotiations are scheduled for October 11-15 in Washington, D.C.

Chamber Raises Concerns About Community Choice Aggregation

The Chamber’s Energy and Water Committee approved a draft letter on September 7th detailing the Chamber’s position on Community Choice Aggregation. That letter was approved with a small addition at the Chamber Public Policy Committee meeting on September 12th. Lastly, the letter was approved by the Chamber Board of Directors on September 28th and will be sent to Mayor Kevin Faulconer.

The City of San Diego released a feasibility study on Community Choice Aggregation as an option to help the city increase the percentage of renewable energy on the grid. Achieving 100 percent renewable energy by 2035 was a key component of the city’s landmark Climate Action Plan, which was supported by the Chamber. To supplement the several perspectives being heard at the Chamber Energy and Water Committee on the topic, the Chamber hosted two workshops in August that were open to the public.

Member Spotlight: Extreme San Diego

Extreme San Diego was founded in 2015 to bring sports and entertainment events to the San Diego area.  In early 2016 Extreme San Diego received a five-year commitment from Extreme Sailing Series™ to bring one of the Extreme Sailing Series™ events to San Diego, beginning October of 2017.  Working with the San Diego Tourism Authority and the San Diego Unified Port District, a collaborative relationship developed, enabling ample support for the inaugural affair.

The Extreme Sailing Series™ is globally recognized as an action-packed ‘stadium-style’ race series since its inception in 2007. Not only will this be the first time San Diego plays host to the event, but this will also be the West Coast’s debut to the circuit, making this specific tour stop even more anticipated.

Over the course of four days, Harbor Island will be transformed into a festival-style event village. Racing will take place directly on the waterfront affording ample viewing from any direction.

Local food trucks, craft beer tents, and interactive areas such as the US Sailing Education Zone and the Cox Communications Kids Zone presented by Rady Children’s Hospital will provide recreation for everyone.

Due to the five year contract with the Extreme Sailing Series™, Extreme San Diego also looks to capitalize on bringing other projects in the sports and entertainment area to San Diego.

Extreme San Diego is pleased to offer 20% off of the Foiling Club to Chamber members using the code “chamber.” For more information on the event, please visit:

Name: Dana Blackwood
Title: Director of Marketing & Communications
Company: Extreme San Diego
Website URL:
Contact Information:
619.889.4971 (c)

2018 San Diego Public Leadership Institute Application