News & Updates

2019 Binational Delegation to Mexico City Recap

Nearly 100 business and community leaders from San Diego and Baja California traveled to Mexico City to champion U.S.-Mexico relations and advance issues critical to the success of the binational business community for the 14th annual Binational Delegation to Mexico City, March 31 through April 3, 2019.

The 95-member delegation was the Chamber’s largest ever to Mexico City and represented a diverse mix of San Diego- and Baja-based industries, organizations, and elected officials. Attending for the first time were elected leaders from Escondido, National City, and Encinitas which demonstrates greater regional support for binational relations. Mayors from five San Diego cities took part in the trip: San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, Imperial Beach Mayor Serge Dedina, Chula Vista Mayor Mary Salas, National City Mayor Alejandra Sotelo Solís, and Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear.

The trip was the Chamber’s first visit to Mexico’s capital city under the new López Obrador Presidential administration and progress was made on several of our key priorities:




  • For more than two decades, Mexico and California have cultivated a mutually beneficial partnership, with the commercial exchange between them valued at $74 B in goods in 2018 – $65 B just between San Diego and Mexico.
  • USMCA is a “once-in-a-generation opportunity to renew the trading system” – current threats for the bilateral trade relationship include section 232 tariffs (steel and aluminum) and the tomato suspension agreement.
  • Mexico is working to pass labor reforms by the end of April, which promote workers’ right to unionize, and labor justice, improving living conditions for workers. These are the most significant and progressive labor reforms in Latin America.
  • The meeting Power Point is available to download here.
  • Undersecretary de la Mora also participated in a press conference about the importance of USMCA and need for ratification by all three countries with Jerry Sanders, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, Chula Vista Mayor Mary Salas, National City Mayor Alejandra Sotelo Solís, and Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear.


  • Representatives from the National Water Commission (CONAGUA) reviewed efforts to mitigate transboundary pollution issues in the Tijuana River Valley and committed to investing funds for water reuse projects and a coastal collector.
  • Discussion explored public private partnership opportunities with a follow up meeting.


  • Met with Secretary of the Interior Olga Sanchez Cordero, the second highest office holder in the federal government (second only to President AMLO)
  • Mexico continues efforts to manage the southern border, which includes duplicating existing ports of entry from 12 to 24 in the next few years and streamlining processes to provide identification documents for migrants. This information would be shared with U.S. authorities.
  • Mexico’s southern border has a significant cross border commerce similar to the San Diego -Tijuana border, so management must be done without impeding the commercial flow.


  • A panel conversation on border infrastructure with a vision of modernizing every ports of entry to guarantee efficiency, sustainability, and safety
  • Current projects look to reduce border waits and invest in technology. Increased collaboration between agencies has been a focus for this administration, and this will allow projects to be completed in less time.
  • SAT leads a cross-border working group to advance border infrastructure projects. The group has met every two to three weeks since January, and includes representatives from SANDAG, Caltrans, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, General Services Administration, San Diego Chamber, and private sector stakeholders.
  • The list of priority projects includes the proposed rail port of entry at Tecate.


  • Met with Chairs of Senate committee on Northern Affairs and Migration, Senate committee on Foreign Affairs, Senate committee on the Environment, and Senate committee on the Economy.
  • Senators expressed how collaboration and communication between the U.S. and Mexico is critical for our North American region to remain globally competitive and moving forward on the issues that both countries face.
  • Gustavo Madero (President of the Economy Commission) stated that moving forward on the ratification of USMCA will help return certainty and stability to the binational business community, and highlighted the importance of both governments working together on a development strategy for Central America that addresses the roots of the increasing flow of immigrants northbound.


  • San Diego regional Mayors and Chief of Staff for the Mayor of Mexico City shared how mobility and access to water are both priorities and challenges in each of the represented cities.
  • Five mayors from the San Diego region participated, two of which were joining us for the first time and one from North County.
  • Mayor Dedina said the private sector’s role in advocating for Tijuana River Valley is critical to success.
  • Collaboration opportunities such as delegation trips to Mexico City and Washington D.C. allow Mayors from our region to transform their shared vision into a reality, truly advancing projects that impact our communities on both sides of the border.


  • Panelists commented on the need for high-level communication between both governments to address shared priorities (challenges). U.S. and MX Presidents are active on media/social media, but share separate messages, and have yet to meet in person. This is the first time a new president (of Mexico) has not meet with the U.S. President within the first 100 days in office.
  • Governments change at local and federal levels on both sides of the border, but the one constant is business community. The role of the business community is highly important.
  • For example, it was business which led to creation on NAFTA.


  • Delegates had two meetings with tourism authorities: Secretary of Tourism for Mexico City Carlos Mackinlay, and Federal Secretary of Tourism Miguel Torruco.
  • In 2017, Mexico ranked 6th place in tourism worldwide with an estimated 43 million foreign visitors spending $23.6 billion USD this year.
  • Canada and the U.S. represent 65 percent of Mexico’s tourism market.


  • Met with Undersecretary for North America in the Department of Foreign Affairs Jesus Seade. He was AMLO’s lead negotiator in USMCA talks.


  • Met with Undersecretary of Hydrocarbons from the Secretariat of Energy, Alberto Montoya.
  • Mexico’s energy market is one to watch as the new administration takes sector in a new direction.


  • Delegates heard from Congresswoman Martha Patricia Ramirez (BC, MORENA party), who shared an update on the State of Baja California’s state of affairs.


  • Delegates shared cross-border priorities and opportunities for collaboration, including continuing to advance border infrastructure projects and addressing the Tijuana River Valley transboundary pollution.
  • In addition, delegates recognized and expressed gratitude for the continuous partnership with the U.S. Consulate in Tijuana and Consul General Sue Saarnio.

Community Partner: Armed Services YMCA

The Armed Services YMCA started in 1861 by “Y” volunteers who wanted to provide supportive services to soldiers in the Civil War. Since then, the Armed Services YMCA has grown into a national organization with thirteen branches across the country, with San Diego being the largest. The San Diego branch of the Armed Services YMCA was founded in 1920, and we have been by providing programs and services to active-duty service members and their families throughout San Diego County ever since.

Armed Services YMCA San Diego enhances the lives of active-duty service members and their families in mind, body, and spirit by providing programs and services relevant to the unique challenges of military life.  We recognize that while an individual may enlist, the whole family serves.

The Armed Services YMCA San Diego strengthens military families’ ranks E1-E7 stationed in San Diego County.  We serve all members of the military family through three primary program areas:

  • Social Work – provides urgent needs assistance, respite child care, and in-home clinical counseling to service members and their families.
  • Family & Youth Enrichment – provides after-school and camp programs for military children, and programs for military spouses that enhance education and social connection.
  • Warrior Care Initiative– located at the Naval Medical Center San Diego, this program assists patients and families with rehabilitation and recovery.

Military Spouse Symposium

The Armed Services YMCA is hosting its 2nd Annual Military Spouse Symposium on May 29, 2019. This event will enrich the lives of military spouses stationed in San Diego – providing them with services, guest speakers, and beneficial workshops. Whether you have been in San Diego for a while or are new to the city, this symposium offers a unique opportunity to meet and network with over 200 military spouses, special guests, and community leaders. For corporate sponsorship opportunities, please contact Phillip Sammuli at


Tim Ney
Executive Director
(858) 987-1234

Member Spotlight: Sunnen Law

Over the last fifteen years, Mr. Sunnen has worked to protect his client’s rights both in and out of the courtroom and provides solutions to many challenging cases at a high level of professionalism. He specializes in both Family Law/Divorce and Bankruptcy Law. Mr. Sunnen is a member of the California State Bar, and has been in private practice for over fifteen years, focusing on litigation in family court, federal court, tax court, bankruptcy court, and before various administrative agencies. Prior to his time in private practice, Mr. Sunnen was a clerk for Federal Magistrate David Noce in the Eighth Circuit.

Mr. Sunnen graduated from law school at Washington University in St. Louis, where he was awarded “Best Brief” in Moot Court and was a three-year member of the Dean’s List, recognizing academic excellence. Prior to his career as an attorney, Mr. Sunnen attended Washington University in St. Louis, where he graduated with a double major in Political Science and History and wrote an honors thesis. As a former Park Ranger, Mr. Sunnen has been, and is active in both the private and public sectors of the outdoor industry, and has worked with many fortune 500 companies to promote sustainable public lands appreciation, education, and protection. Mr. Sunnen is also the former head of a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that he founded and operated for a three year period, and currently serves on the board of directors of another 501(c)(3) organization.

Mr. Sunnen is active in the local legal community, mentors young lawyers, and aspiring lawyers. When not at the office, Mr. Sunnen can be found traveling, climbing mountains, or generally, adventuring anywhere outside. In each case, he brings real-world experience to bear to resolve and de-escalate high conflict matters for the benefit of the firm’s clients.


Visit us at 2121 Fifth Avenue, Suite 205, San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: (619) 255-9551
“Every Problem Has a Solution”

Rosemarie Sunnen
Marketing Director, Sunnen Law

Member Spotlight: Knockaround Sunglasses

Knockaround is the original, affordable sunglasses company, with its headquarters in Old Town San Diego. Founded in 2005 by Adam “Ace” Moyer, the company carries a variety of durable and stylish frames, all at an affordable price. Embodying a fun, laid-back Southern California vibe, Knockaround sunglasses are durable and made to take everywhere. Plus, the price tag lets you enjoy more than one pair.

After losing his own set of expensive sunglasses as a UC San Diego graduate student, Moyer launched Knockaround, with the goal of providing high-quality shades that wouldn’t break the bank. Since its inception, the company has built a loyal fan base on social media, and its sunglasses have been worn by celebrities like Matthew McConaughey, John Mayer, Natalie Portman, John Legend and more.

Limited Editions and collaborations with brands like GI Joe, Hot Wheels and Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week” have also helped propel Knockaround into its current success. With continuous year-over-year growth, Knockaround brought in $6.5 million in 2018, a roughly 25 percent increase compared to 2017. At an average price of $20, the San Diego sunglasses company sells more than 50,000 shades a month to Knock fans around the world.

Additionally, Knockaround was first in the market to offer consumers customized sunglasses via the

Knockaround CUSTOM Shop. Fans may design their own unique pair by choosing from different frame styles, lens tints, colorways, designs and more. All orders are then custom-built in the company’s San Diego warehouse and shipped out to arrive within five to seven business days.

Find or design your next pair at, as well as various retailers worldwide. Follow Knockaround on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to stay in-the-know on all of our upcoming promotions, collaborations and more!

Knockaround, LLC
Tony Martinez—Director of Marketing
Instagram: @knockaround
Twitter: @knockaround
Facebook: Knockaround Sunglasses