Nearly 90 business and community leaders from San Diego and Baja California took part in the Chamber’s 13th annual three-day Binational Delegation to Mexico City, April 15-18. Delegates met with government officials and representatives to strengthen economic and diplomatic ties and discuss opportunities for collaboration on projects and issues affecting the region. The delegation included five mayors and four councilmembers from both sides of the border.
The three day agenda included more than 16 meetings covering issues ranging from NAFTA, the Tijuana River Valley transboundary pollution issue, East Otay POE, Calexico/Mexicali POE, cross-border rail project, medical tourism, and nautical tourism among other topics. The Chamber was recognized by several government leaders for our ongoing leadership and advocacy on NAFTA and promotion of the U.S. -Mexico relationship. Delegates had the unique opportunity to meet with three members of President Peña Nieto’s cabinet and two department heads:
- Secretary of the Interior (SEGOB): who carried a message to the Chamber from the President of Mexico
- Secretary of Finance and Public Credit (SHCP)
- Secretary of Economy
- Head of Federal Customs Administration (SAT)
- Newly appointed Commissioner of Migration (INM)
The delegation also met with the Mexican Senate, including the President of the Northen Border Affairs Commission, to follow up on the MOU signed last year and discuss the priorities for joint efforts this year.
Chamber President and CEO Jerry Sanders participated in a joint press conference with the Secretary of the Interior, Alfonso Navarrete. Also present, Mayor Faulconer and Ambassador Marcela Celorio focused on the positive outcomes of binational collaboration.
The Chamber’s delegation, over the span of several years leading this trip, has successfully raised our region’s profile in Mexico. Each government official and agency representative that met with our group was aware of our issues, assets, economic potential, and value at the national and global level. We are proud to have made such progress in just a few years.
As a result of our visit, the Secretary of the Economy Ildefonso Guajardo has made plans to visit San Diego to give a presentation about the current state of NAFTA negotiations, as well as the implications of a renegotiated NAFTA for the bilateral relationship. The presentation is co-sponsored by the Chamber, and will take place at the University of California San Diego on May 1st.