News & Updates

MEXPORT Business Expo 2018

MEXPORT is a premier cross-border business expo promoting trade and business opportunities in the Cali-Baja region. The expo will take place in San Diego on April 26th. With over 180 booths, it provides a space for executives and business owners to showcase their components, products, and services to major manufacturers in San Diego and Baja California.

Attendance is complimentary, though registration is strongly encouraged to guarantee access to an expedited line at the expo. A diverse group of industrial suppliers and service providers participate in this trade show every year, making MEXPORT a great opportunity for business owners to explore and expand their Cali-Baja market.

For event details, booth or attendance registration, please visit:

Chamber Welcomes Barranquilla (Colombia) Chamber of Commerce

Kenia Zamarripa, Director of International Business Affairs, met with delegates from the Barranquilla Chamber of Commerce on February 9th. The Barranquilla Chamber, comprised by over 63,000 business members in northern Colombia, expressed their interest in understanding the role of the Chamber in the Cali-Baja region, particularly in the innovation industry. In Barranquilla, the Chamber is a private entity in charge of legally incorporating merchant organizations and businesses and promote and manage business growth.

Delegates shared their concern for the delay of technology advances and knowledge arriving to Colombia’s business culture and are committed to decreasing the delay through the adoption of initiatives that impact business development.

San Diego organizations thriving in artificial intelligence, advanced analytics, robotics, virtual reality, 3D printing, big data, and wearables (biometric analysis and A.I.) are encouraged to contact the Barranquilla Chamber as the first step to expand their business and export products and services to Colombia.

Click here for more information, and please contact Kenia Zamarripa at to connect with the Barranquilla Chamber of Commerce.

Competitiveness in Foreign Trade and Customs Fair

On March 1-2nd , 2018, Tijuana’s Customs Secretariat (SAT) will be hosting the first Competitiveness in Foreign Trade and Customs Fair at their headquarters. The Chamber, along other organizations, has partnered with SAT to promote the fair in joint efforts to promote and facilitate cross-border commerce.

One of the event’s goals is to unite regional supply (suppliers of services and products) and demand (buyers and consumers), and to link the public and private sectors in order to strengthen our binational region’s supply chain. Businesses can participate through three different dynamics:

  1. B2B meetings. Interested companies must fill out a form providing a list of production needs in order to be matched with potential suppliers. Please send this form to to register.
  2. Conferences and workshops about relevant subjects (NAFTA, customs processing updates, etc.) – Translators available depending on the topic.
  3. Tabletops to promote products and services (participation fee).

San Diego and Baja California as a Binational Tourist Destination

On February 15th, the Chamber hosted a Cross-Border Business Forum focusing on San Diego and Baja, California Norte as a binational tourist destination. A panel of experts answered key questions such as what are the benefits and challenges of promoting and supporting cross-border tourism in the region, shared statistics on the economic impact of a “two-nation vacation”, and discussed the growth potential of joint strategies to promote cross-border tourism.

Panelists shared existing ongoing collaboration between tourism organizations on both sides of the border and shared efforts towards sustainable tourism in the region. One of the biggest challenges mentioned was border wait northbound, which becomes a barrier for binational tourism. Closing remarks looked into the future of cross-border tourism and determined that more investment is needed to promote visiting both countries in one stop, incorporating nautical tourism which already represents a significant income for San Diego and Baja California, and the expansion and promotion of the Trusted Traveler Program to facilitate crossings from tourists visiting from northern California.

The forum welcomed stakeholders from both sides of the border including service providers, government representatives, promoters, and media.

U.S. Tax Reform Implications for Foreign Investments

Last December, the U.S. Congress voted to enact the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act which reduces business tax rates and revamps the U.S. international tax system. As a result, the reforms will have important consequences for companies and markets all around the world, including the taxation of U.S. corporations’ foreign subsidiaries. These subsidiaries pay corporate tax at their host country and are free to reinvest the after-tax profit locally or in operating businesses in any other country except the U.S.

The Tijuana Economic Development Council recently hosted a conference by Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch, in which the international implications of the U.S. tax reform where briefly explained and include:

  • S. corporations are not required to pay taxes on dividends received from foreign subsidiaries in which there is a participation of at least 10 percent.
  • As part of the transitional regime for the exemption of foreign dividends, profit held in foreign subsidiaries is considered ficta repatriation (distribution is unnecessary).
  • Base Erosion Anti-Abuse tax establishes a taxation of 10 percent on payment from U.S. corporations to foreign related parties that is applied to corporations with annual gross receipts of $500 million, whose payments to foreign related parties are greater than 3 percent of their deductions.
  • Global Intangible Low-Taxed Income – a 10.5 percent tax on “income from foreign intangibles” exceeding an annual return of 10 percent of the fiscal cost of tangible assets abroad.
  • Foreign Derived Intangible Income – a deduction established for U.S. corporations with income from abroad attributable to intangibles. In general terms, this applies to income from the sale of goods abroad; license for intellectual property abroad; and services provided abroad.
  • No deduction of interest payments and royalties (“hybrids”) made to foreign related parties.
  • Contributions to foreign companies for “active business” will cease to be “tax-free”.
  • Sales of partnership participation (shares) will be taxed 10 percent of selling price when purchased from a foreign vendor.
  • The participation of non-resident foreigners is allowed for “S” corporations in the U.S. through a trust.

Procopio further shared that the Act imposes additional restrictions to anti-inversion rules previously adopted by the previous administration. Incentives are provided for U.S. corporations to remain in the United States, reduce their business abroad (and bring it back), and penalize those who look to exit by way of inversions. Both U.S.-parented and foreign-parented global organizations face a more complicated picture.

The changes, along with a 35 percent reduction of corporate-tax rate, could encourage another round of tax reforms at developed countries seeking to improve their competitiveness to internationally movable capital.

Detailed information of Procopio’s tax reform analysis is available here (in Spanish).

Welcoming San Diego Kickoff Summit: Integrating New Americans

The Chamber partnered with the City of San Diego in obtaining a grant as part of the 2017 Gateways for Growth Challenge by New American Economy, to design a strategic plan for San Diego to welcome and integrate immigrants and refugees. The grant funded a study that provided data on the economic impact of San Diego’s immigrant population.

The initiative was launchedon February 2nd with an all-day event where Chamber President and CEO Jerry Sanders and Vice President Paola Avila addressed the audience to emphasize the importance of the immigrant population which comprise nearly a third of San Diego’s workforce, their significant spending power, and high rates of entrepreneurship.

As part of the grant, a strategic plan to advance the civic, social and economic integration of immigrants will be developed with a series of community forums to gather input from residents and thematic focus groups in topics such as civic engagement, safe and connected communities, economic opportunities, education and inclusive access. The Chamber will play a role in the implementation of the strategic plan. For more information on this initiative, ‘Welcoming San Diego’ please visit:

Cali-Israel Mexico Innovation Expo

In collaboration with the Mexican Consulate in San Diego and the Tijuana Economic Development Corporation, the Cali-Israel Mexico Innovation Expo is a regional conference centered in Southern California and the Cali-Baja region of Mexico focusing on cross-border investment, venture capital, education, and asset management. The event provides partnership and investment opportunities among all participants, showcasing the next generation of Israeli innovations from state-of-the-art drone prototypes to renewable energy systems, medical devices, mobile technology, and cyber technology to agribusiness.

Chamber President & CEO Jerry Sanders will provide welcoming remarks as part of the event’s opening alongside Ambassador Marcela Celorio, from the Mexican Consulate in San Diego. Additionally, Paola Avila, Vice President of International Business Affairs, will share the Chamber’s work and leadership in the promotion of cross-border commerce in the San Diego-Baja California binational region.

The Expo will take place at the BIT Center in Tijuana, from March 19th to the 21st, 2018. Attendance is free for business representatives, and Chamber members registering as exhibitors will receive a $500 discount (please use the code 500SDCC and register by Feb. 26th). For event details, and to register, please visit the Expo’s website.

13th Annual Binational Delegation to Mexico City

From international trade to the wall, the U.S. and Mexico relationship and our Cali-Baja region is at the forefront of the national political stage. With this has come a growing uncertainty for the future of our binational relationship. As a national model for productive and collaborative cross-border trade and commerce, it is critical that Cali-Baja leaders voice our support for the policies and projects that will continue to strengthen our cross-border communities.

This year’s Binational Delegation to Mexico City will take place April 15th to 18th, 2018. The Four Seasons Hotel, through our continued partnership, will provide a discounted rate for our delegation. The focus of our advocacy efforts during this visit will be NAFTA; border infrastructure; immigration and workforce integration; and environmental issues such as the Tijuana River Valley. We are also planning an in depth discussion on Mexico’s upcoming presidential elections. Our agenda will include a meeting with the Mexican Senate, Congress, and other government agencies as well as networking opportunities to strengthen business and political relationships.

Registration is open with special airfare and hotel discounts for those who register early. Please visit our website to register and for event details, including flights, and hotel reservations.

Coast to Coast NAFTA Discussions

On January 25th two simultaneous NAFTA talks were held in San Diego, at the Chamber office, and in Washington, D.C.

The Chamber hosted a Good Government Speaker Series roundtable discussion on the economic impact of NAFTA with The New York Times journalist Eduardo Porter. Porter shared statistics and historic data which provided an overview of NAFTA since Mexico, Canada, and the U.S. first sat at a negotiating table in 1992. He addressed how current criticism links NAFTA to factors it has no impact on such as the loss of manufacturing jobs in the U.S., which were a consequence of automatization and China’s competitiveness. Benefits to certain industries were also explained. Porter shared “it is thanks to NAFTA that investments in auto production have grown faster in the U.S.” and “the automotive supply chain is now strongly consolidated”.  The discussion highlighted how the future of Mexico and the U.S. are really tied to each other including what the implications would be across different industries if the agreement were to end. Despite current free trade agreements with other countries, trade with the rest of the world is minor in comparison to trade between NAFTA partners.

The same day in Washington, the Wilson Center partnered with the Council of the Americas to co-host a discussion with city Mayors, former Ambassadors, and business leaders from Mexico, the U.S., and Canada, to analyze and discuss what a post-NAFTA North America would look like in terms of competitiveness, geopolitics, national economy, and withdrawal on job growth. It was mentioned that the current Administration’s efforts to renegotiate the agreement continue to spread uncertainty and concern within the business community.

Chamber Vice President of International Business Affairs, Paola Avila, participated in the business panel and highlighted how American businesses would be at a disadvantage should the agreement be terminated. We are not trading with each other, we are producing together forming deeply integrated supply chains, “an American product is not an American product, but a North American product”, said Avila during the panel discussion. She explained the tie between our economies by saying, “when one side of the border catches a cold, the other has a fever.”

Arturo Sarukhan, former Mexican ambassador to the U.S., emphasized that NAFTA changed the geopolitical landscape of all North America for the better, beyond economic numbers.

The webcast recap is available here:

Yes! For A Better San Diego Begins Signature Drive

On February 5th, the “YES! For a Better San Diego” coalition announced the kick off for their signature drive to get the initiative on the ballot for the November elections. The coalition was joined by the San Diego Police Officers Association to announce their endorsement of the initiative. The initiative requires roughly 68,000 signatures from registered voters in the City of San Diego to get it qualified for the November elections.

Read more about the coalition and ballot initiative here: