News & Updates

Tips for Holiday Travel in Mexico

As the holidays approach, many U.S. residents will be travelling internationally. Please read the information below to ensure no trips are disrupted or missed.

  • Get your passport before you go.  S. citizens require a valid passport book or card to enter Mexico.  Apply now to get your documents before your holiday travel.  For more information, please see


  • Know the rules before you leave. Mexico has strict rules for entering the country, bringing your U.S.-registered car into the country, and importing commercial goods.  These rules also apply for dual U.S./Mexican citizens.  Failure to follow these rules can result in your auto or goods being confiscated and you being deported or detained.  Consult your local Mexican consulate for more information.
  • Leave your weapons at home.  Mexico has very strict rules for entering the country with firearms and ammunition.  You may be arrested and prosecuted by Mexican authorities for failing to adhere to these rules.  Click here for more information about traveling with firearms.


  • Get informed.  Read the Department of State’s Country Information for Mexico on for general information and tips for visiting Mexico.  The Travel Advisory for Mexico contains additional state-specific information on security and related risks U.S. visitors should consider when traveling to Mexico.


  • Register your trip.  Register your trip with to receive up-to-the-minute updates from the Department of State for areas along your planned route, and to allow better assistance in the event of an emergency.


  • U.S. Embassies are ready for you.  The United States Diplomatic Mission to Mexico has an Embassy in Mexico City, as well as nine Consulates and nine Consular Agencies throughout the country.  The U.S. Embassies have been working together with Mexican authorities to ensure that the over 125,000 U.S. citizens expected to travel to Mexico during the holiday season have a safe trip.  For more information about services provided by the various diplomatic offices throughout Mission Mexico, see

Chamber joins SDSU President Adela de la Torre for meetings in Tijuana

We joined SDSU President Adela de la Torre during her two day agenda in Tijuana which included a breakfast hosted by U.S. Consul General Sue Saarnio with female leaders in business, education, science, human rights to discuss the future of leadership and binational collaboration. President de la Torre also met with the Mayor of Tijuana and the city’s Under Secretary of Education. As a result of the various meetings, a two day conference is in the works for 2019 with one day taking place at SDSU and the second in Tijuana.

Our region benefits from deep collaborative ties across organizations and sectors. We are home to nine academic institutions with cross-border agreements, including exchange programs for students, staff and faculty, double diploma programs, and joint research teams. We are fortunate to have these existing partnerships which enables us to focus on strengthening ties and specific initiatives.

Mexico Signs Central American Development Plan to Curb Migration

Mexico’s President López Obrador signed an agreement with counterparts from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador to create a fund to reduce the U.S.-bound flow of migrants from Central America. The four leaders agreed to design a work plan comprising “programs, projects and policies to promote and generate new jobs and address poverty in the region” (Mexico’s southern border and Central America). These programs aim to increase the quality of life in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras and thus minimizing the number of potential new migrants. The agreement will be backed by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (CEPAL).

President López Obrador has proposed that Mexico, the U.S., and each Central American country contribute to the fund according to their economy, allocating 75 percent of the collective funds to finance projects generating new jobs and minimizing poverty, and the remaining 25 percent to border management and security. At a United Nations migration conference in Morocco, Mexico’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Marcelo Ebrard stated that Mexico will invest over $30 billion in the next five years and reiterated Mexico’s commitment to collaborate with Central American nations to curb migration.

Economy, Migration, Culture and Innovation Forum at CETYS Universidad

Last month, Chamber Director of International Business Affairs Kenia Zamarripa participated as a panelist of the Economy, Migration, Culture and Innovation Global Forum in CETYS Universidad Campus Tijuana. The discussion focused on the threats and opportunities of the Cali-Baja region from a multidisciplinary approach. Guest speakers included representatives from URBI Tijuana and the Mexican Consulate in San Diego.

Zamarripa provided an overview of the economic and human impacts of the border in the Cali-Baja region for international business students to understand the importance of stakeholders from both sides of the border to work together in the development of projects, initiatives and policies that benefit both communities. The event provided an excellent opportunity to share the Chamber’s internship program which is designed to provide a unique learning opportunity to students with a “real-world” work experience. Chamber interns have the chance to develop new skills in a team-oriented environment.

For information about internship opportunities at the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, please contact Kenia Zamarripa at

From NAFTA to USMCA forum at UC San Diego

Fullbright Canada and the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies at UC San Diego hosted a full-day conference in November on the new NAFTA, (USMCA). Featured speakers analyzed trade negotiations and the agreement itself from the private and public sector perspectives to identify potential socioeconomic and political impacts for North America partners.

Chamber Vice President of International Business Affairs, Paola Avila, participated in a panel discussion covering the gains and losses of NAFTA negotiations for the Cali-Baja region and business community. The Chamber is also conducting a series of informational forums on NAFTA 2.0 / USMCA including this morning’s forum in partnership with BIOCOM, and an upcoming forum in Tijuana on January 29th.

Keynote speaker Jesus Seade, President López Obrador’s Chief Negotiator for Trade, shared a message stating that USMCA is not a massive improvement, but a clear and extremely positive improvement. The Chamber had the opportunity to share our region’s efforts in promoting trade and advocating to the U.S. and Mexican governments for a modernized trilateral trade agreement. We look forward to continue collaborating with Seade and the Mexican administration during the Chamber’s upcoming Binational Delegation Trip to Mexico City taking place March 31 to April 3, 2019.

Voices of International Trade Podcast

Director of International Affairs, Kenia Zamarripa, participated in a panel hosted by Chamber member EUSAGA as part of their series of roundtable discussions on topics relevant to binational trade and regional cross-border collaboration from the public and private sector perspectives. Zamarripa provided an overview of the Chamber’s international work, binational delegation trip to Mexico City, and the business community role in the U.S.-Mexico relationship.

Participating in the roundtable discussion:

  • Cecilia Ortega, EUSAGA Logistica Internacional
  • Rafael Mauricio Cruz Manjarrez Garcia, MORENA Baja California and President of Tijuana’s Law Council
  • Kenia Zamarripa, San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce
  • Rodrigo Perez, EUSAGA Logistica Internacional
  • Heriberto Polanco, Grupo Polanco
  • Jose Antonio Fajardo, Grupo Aceves
  • Lino Zamora, Attorney at Law

Previous podcasts have featured the Chinese Consul General in Tijuana, INCOMEX, and Servicio de Administración Tributaria (Mexican Customs).

Meeting with IBWC Commissioner

Chamber Director of International Business Affairs, in her role as board member of the U.S. International Boundary and Water Commission’s Citizens Forum, met with recently appointed U.S. Commissioner Jayne Harkins. Zamarripa and the board briefed Commissioner Harkins on the binational efforts underway to minimize the Tijuana River Valley transboundary pollution and reiterated the critical need to improve Tijuana’s sewage infrastructure and pump station CILA to prevent dry weather flows impacting water quality in South Bay.

In addition to the meeting with board members, Commissioner Harkins participated in the Citizens Forum which included a presentation from IBWC’s feasibility studies and conversation with the local community. One of the projects already implemented in the City of Tijuana has recently started collecting, compressing, melting and molding plastic trash into tile squares which are ready to be reused or recycled.

NAFTA 2.0/USMCA Update and Informational Forums

The San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, together with business and community leaders across the border, recognize the benefits of cross-border trade and the modernized North American Free Trade Agreement known as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA. The agreement, signed by the leaders of the United States, Mexico and Canada, now enters the critical ratification process. To take effect, each country’s legislative body must approve the new agreement. The Chamber will continue working with cross-border partners to seek the support needed for ratification.

“Our mission as champions for cross-border commerce starts with ensuring our region’s businesses have access to our top trade partners: Mexico and Canada,” said Chamber President and CEO Jerry Sanders, “the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement will bring certainty to businesses and preserve the trilateral trading bloc that has brought economic vitality to our region for more than a quarter century.”

The Chamber’s Board of Directors, voted unanimously to support the updated trade agreement at its October meeting. A long-time supporter of NAFTA, the Chamber has actively participated in various legislative hearings and public comment periods throughout the past year and a half in the renegotiation process.

The tariff-free commerce between the United States, Canada, and Mexico – which NAFTA provides – has resulted in deeply interlinked cross-border supply chains. In San Diego, this has resulted in a $2.5 billion supply chain and more than 110,000 jobs that are supported by trade.

“Mexico and Canada are San Diego’s top two trading partners, so supporting this updated NAFTA supports San Diego workers and the regional economy that keeps us competitive. As we review the document, we may seek adjustments or clarification, but I’m encouraged that USMCA has many of the same provisions as the Trans Pacific Partnership to even the playing field for U.S. companies and workers,” said Congressman Scott Peters. “Since the agreement only accomplishes a fraction of what TPP would have done if we expanded the agreement to include more countries around the Pacific Rim, I will continue to work to see the United States raise the standards for workers, the environment, and business worldwide.”

By preserving the spirit of this trilateral relationship, the Chamber asserts the trade agreement will allow for continued growth in trade and restore predictability and certainty in North America’s private sector. For San Diego, the agreement’s provisions and regulatory language protecting intellectual property, enforceable labor protections and standards, along with the modernization of the customs chapter, the preservation of the TN visa, and assistance to small businesses are particularly important. In addition, the agreement’s environment enforcement provisions could be used to address the Tijuana River Valley pollution issue.

“The agreement includes our proposed labor agenda presented during the campaign, which fully guarantees workers’ rights and freedom to unionize,” said Marcelo Ebrard, Secretary of Foreign Affairs on behalf of Mexico’s president Andrés Manuel López Obrador. “We will continue working on a bilateral relationship with the U.S. and Canada that includes areas of strategic interest for Mexico: commerce, immigration, development, and security.”

The termination of NAFTA, without a replacement in place, would result in a disruption of supply chains causing production cost increases. In addition to the impact to businesses and consumers, the absence of a trade agreement with the nation’s two closest neighbors and trading partners risks the collaboration that has been fostered and is necessary for border management, citing and managing ports of entry, and national security, as well as addressing shared environmental issues such as air and water, and workforce development. Below is a list of upcoming informational forums:

–              Tijuana, January 29 at Club de Empresarios

–              San Diego, February 12th at the San Diego Chamber

For more information about upcoming USMCA forums, please contact Chamber Director of International Business Affairs, Kenia Zamarripa at

Economic Impact of Border Closures and Increased Wait Times

With the recent lane and port closures, border wait times have discouraged trade and travel adversely impacting our regional economy both in the short and long term.

The economies on each side of the border are inextricably linked. We produce together, have a shared workforce, and have families on both sides of the border. The commercial exchange between Tijuana and San Diego is valued at $2.1 million per day, and the San Ysidro Port of Entry alone experiences over 70,000 vehicle and 25,000 pedestrian crossings into the U.S. daily. With an integrated manufacturing supply chain worth $2.5 billion, the Cali Baja region critically depends on its cross-border connectivity and efficient movement of goods which accounts for a gross regional product of $255 billion.

Communicating the importance of our border region and maintaining our border open is paramount. See below a list of media interviews with the Chamber:

Mexico’s Presidential Inauguration Ceremony

Earlier this year, with over 50 percent of the vote, Andrés Manuel López Obrador was elected President of Mexico. Chamber President and CEO Jerry Sanders was honored to receive an invitation to attend President López Obrador’s inauguration ceremony which took place on December 1st.

The Presidential Inauguration agenda included a reception hosted by Mexico’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Marcelo Ebrard. He was joined by Mexico’s Ambassador to the U.S., Martha Bárcena, and together they delivered a message to attendees on the importance of the binational relationship and that the border is synonymous with innovation and opportunity. Chamber VP of International Business Affairs Paola Avila and Director of International Business Affairs Kenia Zamarripa met with Minister Ebrard to brief him on the Chamber’s upcoming Binational Delegation Trip to Mexico City, and delivered a letter inviting him and the President’s cabinet members to meet with our delegation.

The inauguration ceremony and receptions provided an excellent opportunity to reiterate our commitment to the binational collaboration which we depend on for our region’s success. During our visit, we were able to have multiple impactful conversations about border infrastructure, immigration, and trade with Mexico’s new administration and U.S. officials attending the ceremony.

President López Obrador’s cabinet members and new appointments include:

  • Olga Sánchez Cordero, Secretary of the Interior (SEGOB)
  • Marcelo Ebrard, Secretary of Foreign Affairs (SRE)
  • Martha Bárcena, Ambassador to the United States
  • Carlos Manuel Urzúa Macías, Secretary of Treasury (SHCP)
  • Javier Jiménez Espriú, Secretary of Communications and Transportation (SCT)
  • Rocío Nahle García, Secretary of Energy (SENER)
  • Josefa González Blanco Ortiz , Secretary of the Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT)
  • Graciela Márquez Colín, Secretary of Economy (SE)
  • Jesús Seade, Chief Negotiator for USMCA / NAFTA 2.0
  • Blanca Elena Jiménez Cisneros, National Commissioner of Water (CONAGUA)
  • Esteban Moctezuma Barragán, Secretary of Public Education (SEP)
  • Miguel Torruco Marqués, Secretary of Tourism (SECTUR)
  • Jorge Carlos Alcocer Varela, Secretary of Public Health
  • Luisa María Alcalde Luján, Secretary of Workforce (STPS)
  • Victor Villalobos Arámbula, Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development (SADER, previously SAGARPA)
  • Luis Crescencio Sandoval, Secretary of Defense (SEDENA)
  • José Rafael Ojeda Duran, Secretary of the Navy (SEMAR)
  • Alejandra Fraustro Guerrero, Secretary of Culture (previously CONACULTA)
  • Román Meyer Falcon, Secretary of Agriculture, Territory, and Urban Development (SEDATU)
  • Irma Erendira Sandoval, Secretary of Public Administration (SFP)
  • Alfonso Durazo Montaño, Secretary of Public Safety (SSPYPC)
  • María Luisa Albores, Secretary of Wellness (previously Secretary of Social Development)

For a complete transcript of President López Obrador’s inauguration speech (in Spanish), please click here.

The Chamber is looking forward to continued collaboration with the Mexican government to further strengthen the U.S.-Mexico relationship and advocate and promote projects and policies that will improve our economies. These include border infrastructure and trade facilitation, workforce development, and minimizing transboundary pollution. To hear more about what Mexico’s new administration will bring to the future of the U.S.-Mexico relationship, click here to listen to an interview with Chamber President and CEO Jerry Sanders.

To see photos from the event, please visit the Chamber’s Facebook Page.