Alliance 29

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United States - Mexico Chamber of Commerce Binational Business Magazine

Year / Año 17 // Nº 29 // USA $4.00 // MEX $ 45.00

Why The SMU Mission Foods Texas-Mexico Center believes in free trade ANNUAL CONFERENCE AND GOOD NEIGHBOR AWARDS GALA

REPORT Testimony to the U.S. Trade Representatives for the Hearing on Negociating Objectives Regarding Modernization of Nafta.

OPINION LEADERS A Successful Nafta Modernization is Crucial for the Future Prosperity in our Region.


President & CEO, Binational Headquarters;


Francisco López Espinoza,

CEO, Grupo Gráfico Multicolor; Eric Rojo, Vice-President/ Mexico Liaison; Joseph R. Chapa, Vice-President, International Trade Development Centers; Gabriela Kenny, Director of Communications; Cecilia López, Publishing Manager; and Jill Martínez, Editor.

PUBLISHING COORDINATORS Executive Director PROMEXE Rafael López Rivera Director of Communications Gabriela Kenny Publishing Manager Cecilia López

CONCEPT & MAGAZINE DESIGN Editorial Coordinator Cecilia López PRGNRS branding / advertising / interactive Graphic Designers Israel de la Fuente Christopher Jareño Alejandra Rodríguez

EDITORIAL CONTRIBUTORS Aida Lagarde Claudia Vidal Gabriela Kenny Gabriela Michan Jeff Jorge Joe Chapa Josie Orosco Marlen Marroquin Sergio Ponce


For advertising inquiries, contact: Rafael López Executive Director PROMEXE Gabriela Kenny Director of Communications Cecilia López Publishing Manager

ALLIANCE, revista cuatrimestral. enero 2017 / abril 2017.- Publicación de la Camara de Comercio México Estados Unidos y Promotora Mexicana de Ediciones, S.A. DE C.V. (PROMEXE). Editor Responsable: Francisco Javier López Espinoza. Número de Certificado de Reserva otorgado por el Instituto Nacional del Derecho de Autor: 04-2013-071518324800-102. Número de Certificado de Licitud de Título y Contenido: 16157. Domicilio de la Publicación: José María Chávez #3408-A. Cd. Industrial. C.P. 20290. Aguascalientes., Ags. Imprenta: Multicolor Gran Formato S.A. de C.V. José María Chávez #3408. Cd. Industrial. C.P. 20290. Aguascalientes., Ags. Distribuidor, PROMEXE José María Chávez # 3408-A. Cd. Industrial. C.P. 20290. Aguascalientes., Ags. Camara de Comercio Mexico Estados Unidos, 5510 Cherokee Ave. Ste. 120, Alexandria, VA 22313-2320. Mailing address: P.O. Box 14414, Washington, D.C. 20044. Printed by Multicolor Gran Formato, S.A. de C.V. Av. Jose Maria Chavez No. 3408, Ciudad Industrial; Aguascalientes, Ags., Mex. Specifications: Total production, 3,000 units; covers: couche paper 135 grs; Varnish UV. Interiors: couche paper 135 grs. Impression: offset full color. The views expressed in this magazine are the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect official positions of the U.S.-Mexico Chamber of Commerce, its members or supporters. Our goal is to present a broad range of perspectives on shared bilateral issues.

Dear Friends, “The success of the North American Free Trade Agreement and its impact on the U.S. economy cannot be refuted.” This was the opening line of the testimony that I presented to the U.S. Trade Representative for the hearing on negotiating objectives regarding modernization of NAFTA. And, as we all know, NAFTA has certainly provided enormous benefits to the economies of both Mexico and Canada. While the process of the NAFTA renegotiation has brought some concerns, in my view it is important not to get distracted with the negotiating strategies but rather to focus on the issues that need to be revised. At the U.S.-Mexico Chamber of Commerce, we have consistently advocated for the incorporation of new technology to facilitate the exchange of goods and travel in a secure environment, improve border infrastructure, and have widely promoted education, job training and skills development to drive economic development and investment. The USMCOC recognizes that there are several areas of opportunity to strengthen the North American economy. On October 26, 2017, the Congressional Roundtable on NAFTA and Border Issues was held at the Library of Congress, in Washington, D.C. During this event Congressmembers Pete Sessions (R-TX), Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations; Michael McCaul (R-TX), Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security; and Henry Cuellar (D-TX), expressed their points of view and explained to the audience that the U.S. Congress has a key role in the NAFTA renegotiation—and ultimately the passage of legislation. The members of Congress pointed out that they have, and will continue to, provide feedback to President Trump’s administration on where they would like the NAFTA negotiations to go. They also noted that Con-

gress has been calling for a softening of the rhetoric and not to “hang the threat of a NAFTA withdrawal over the heads of Mexico and Canada.” Congressman Sessions stated that “...our signals to the President, to the Secretary of Commerce, and to the Trade Ambassador have been that we believe the signals should be positive…they should negotiate with the idea that we want to work together.” The Congressional Roundtable coincided with the closing of this edition of Alliance Magazine, (the complete report will be included in the next edition), however, in this issue you will find key points on the NAFTA renegotiation. We deeply appreciate the contributions of Ambassador of Mexico to the U.S., Gerónimo Gutiérrez, and Mexico’s Trade and NAFTA Office in Washington, D.C. that explain Mexico’s negotiating objectives. We also invited Ricardo Salinas, Chairman of Grupo Salinas; Jeff Jorge, Principal and International Service Practice Leader at Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP; and Alejandro Gomez and Andres Alvarez from Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP, to share their perspectives from the private sector. Mission Foods Texas-Mexico Center at Southern Methodist University also participated in the conversation and highlighted the day-to-day impact that NAFTA has on our lives—particularly in Texas which is the largest exporting state, with Mexico as its key market. Special thanks to our friends and members for their support to the U.S.-Mexico Chamber of Commerce mission, and for making Alliance Magazine possible. We hope to see you at our Binational Meeting in Mexico City, December 3-4, 2017! Sincerely,

Albert Zapanta President & CEO





Why the SMU Mission Foods TexasMexico Center believes in free trade C







Testimony to the U.S. Trade Representatives for the Hearing on Negociating Objectives Regarding Modernization of Nafta




























Albert Zapanta

President & CEO Binational Office 6800 Versar Center Dr. Suite 450 Springfield VA 2215 (469) 567-0921 F: (703) 642-1088

Joseph R. Chapa

Vice President Western Region, Executive Director, Trade Development and Assistant Center (469) 567-0922 F: (703) 642-1088

California Regional Chapter Los Angeles, CA JUDITH A. WILSON President MARLEN MARROQUIN Executive Director 1800 Century Park East Suite 300 Los Angeles, CA 90067 (310) 598-4188 (310) 922-0206 Inter-American Chapter Miami, FL RUTH MARTINEZ Executive Director Inter-Mountain Chapter, Salt Lake City, Utah KEITH ATKINSON President 1123 Sandtrap Circle North Salt Lake City Utah, 84054 (801) 200 4714 International Trade Development and Assistance Center JOSEPH R. CHAPA Executive Director 207 Mandalay Canal Irving, TX 75039 (469) 567-0922 Washington, D.C. Office Mid-Atlantic Chapter CLARK H. CROOK CASTAN President 6800 Vesar Center Dr., Suite 450 Springfield, VA 22151 (301) 233-4485 (703) 752-4751 Mid-America Chapter Chicago, IL RALPH BIEDERMANN Executive Director Blue Cross Blue Shield Building 300 E. Randolph Dr. 47th floor Chicago, Il 60601 (312) 729-1355

Alejandro Ramos

Vice President Eastern Region Executive Director of Northeast Chapter (212) 471-4703 F: (212) 471-4701

Gabriela Kenny

Director of Communications North American Headquarters 207 Mandalay Canal Irving, TX 75039 (469) 567-0923 F: (703) 642-1088

Northeast Chapter New York, NY EDUARDO RAMOS-GÓMEZ President ALEJANDRO RAMOS Executive Director 1540 Broadway, Suite 1400 New York, NY. 10036-4086 (212) 471-4703 F: (212) 471-4701

Aguascalientes Chapter Aguascalientes, Ags. JAIME DEL CONDE UGARTE President RODOLFO RODRÍGUEZ CASILLAS Executive Director Av. Independencia 1602 Col. Fátima Aguascalientes, Ags. (449) 914-6863 (449) 153-3553

Pacific Northwest Chapter Seattle, WA LUIS MORRIS VELARDE President 800 5th Ave. #101-260 Seattle,WA 98104-3102 (971) 319-0384

Golfo Chapter Veracruz, Ver. JORGE ALEJANDRO VEGA Executive Director Simon Bolivar no. 705. casi esquina con España. Despacho 3 Colonia Zaragoza C.P. 91910 Veracruz, Ver. México (229) 937-0598 (229) 100-3857

Southwest Chapter Dallas, TX VINCENT CHAPA President JOSIE OROSCO Executive Director 901 Main Street, 44th. Floor Dallas, TX 75202 (214) 651-4300 / (817) 881 0264 F: (214) 747 1994 Houston-The Woodlands-Gulf Coast Chapter, Houston, TX JULIE CHARROS-BETANCOR President PETE GARCIA Executive Director 4582 Kingwood Dr Suite E-334 Kingwood, TX 77345 (713) 854-1577 Great Lakes Chapter Detroit, MI JEFF JORGE President ROGELIO LANDIN Executive Director 150 West Jefferson Suite 2500 Detroit, MI 48226 (313) 506-6627

Guanajuato Chapter León, Gto. ANTONIO VARGAS NAVARRO President SERGIO PONCE LÓPEZ Executive Director Blvd. Campestre No. 1215, Int. 12 Col. Panorama León, Gto. 37160 (477) 779-5670 Michoacán Chapter Morelia, Mich. NICK ORTIZ President / Executive Director Melo 166-B Morelia Michoacan C.P. 58000 (443) 353-7743 Noreste Chapter Monterrey, N.L. DR. ERIC W. GUSTAFSON President ROBERTO FUERTE Executive Director Av. Fundidora No. 501. Edificio Cintermex P.B. Local 114 Col. Obrera Monterrey, N.L. 64010 (81) 8369-6477 (81) 8369-6714

Pacífico Chapter Guadalajara, Jal. JOSÉ MARÍA SALGUERO RECIO President and Executive Director Edificio MIND Piso 4-A Av Faro 2350 Colonia Verde Valle 44550 Guadalajara Jalisco México (33) 1798 9670 Puebla Chapter Puebla, Pue. FERNANDO A. TREVIÑO President VIDAUR MORA Executive Director 31 Poniente No. 4128 9º Piso Letra A Col. Ampliación Reforma Puebla, Pue. 72160 (222) 249-8828 F: 222) 249-2361 Querétaro Chapter Querétaro, Qro. SERGIO NAVA President MÓNICA LÓPEZ Executive Director Av. Zaragoza Pte. 330-301 Col. Niños Héroes Querétaro, Qro. 76010 (442) 125-7359 Valle de México Chapter Mexico City JOSE GARCIA TORRES President CLAUDIA VIDAL Executive Director Av. Insurgentes Sur 1605 Torre Mural, Piso 25, Mod. 3 Col. San José Insurgentes Benito Juárez, 03900. México, D.F. (55) 5662-6103 F: (55) 5683-2700

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Cinépolis to enter Washington D.C. market with new luxury theater


n July 20, 2017, the New Hyde Park, New York-based REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust) signed with Cinépolis USA to bring a luxury theater concept to the open-air mixed-use redevelopment project in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Dallas-based Cinépolis USA is a subsidiary of Morelia, Mexicobased Cinépolis, the biggest theater chain in Mexico and the fourth-largest theater chain in the world. The new 34,000-squarefoot Cinépolis Luxury Cinemas will feature 540 reclining leather seats, an upscale lobby-lounge space, gourmet meals and intheater waiter service.

Source: Washington Business Journal

Grupo México to acquire Florida East Coast Railway


n March 28, 2017, Ferromex’s parent company Grupo Mexico, Mexico’s largest railroad operator, reached an agreement to acquire a one hundred percent stake in Jacksonville-based Florida East Coast Railway Holding Corporation (FEC). The cash transaction, which is subject to approval by authorities in the United States, has an estimated value of around $2 billion. The acquisition will position Ferromex as a consolidated railway operator in the United States, significantly improving the reach, scale, and diversity of its services. FEC operates a 351-mile main line linking Florida cities Miami and Palm Beach with St Augustine and Jacksonville, handling 550,000 wagonloads of freight per year to transport chemicals, metals, wood, and automobiles.

Source: International Railway Journal

Bimbo agrees to buy US baker East Balt


n July 20, 2017, Mexican breadmaker Bimbo, the largest baking company in the world, agreed to buy the U.S. firm East Balt Bakeries for $650 million. “This acquisition drives Bimbo’s global growth strategy to expand in markets and categories with high potential,” according to the company’s statement. Chicago-based East Balt supplies restaurants across the world with baked goods from its 21 plants in 11 countries. East Balt employs 2,200 people and produces 13 million baked goods daily, including buns, English muffins, rolls, tortillas and bagels, mainly for quick service restaurants.

Source: Reuters

Chemours opens new manufacturing facility in Mexico


n June 26, 2017, Chemours Company (CC), a U.S. chemical company based in Wilmington, Delaware, conducted a groundbreaking ceremony for its new mining solutions manufacturing facility in Durango, Mexico. Chemours spent approximately $150 million on this facility. Chemours is already the largest producer of solid sodium cyanide, an essential in mining operations. This facility will help the company service gold and silver mines in Mexico. Mark Vergnano, CC’s president and CEO, said, “This project is a further demonstration of our five-point transformation plan and will support the growing needs of the Mexican mining market. We’ve had successful operations in Mexico for over 90 years, and this undertaking reinforces our continued commitment to our Chemours Mining Solutions business.”

Source: Market Realist, Inc.


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Mexican Stock Exchange’s newest investment instrument: SPAC BMV has launched a new instrument to provide diversification for financing and more options for the investor portfolio. The newly-available Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) has opened up new opportunities for companies focused on the energy sector to participate in the Mexican Stock Exchange.

Over the past 18 months, the Mexican Stock Exchange— commonly known as BMV (Bolsa Mexicana de Valores, S.A.B. de C.V. or BMV Group)— has developed several innovative instruments that enhance trading options and represent more diversification for investors’ portfolios. Among those are Fibra E, CerPis, Green Bonds, Sustainable and Share Bonds, all beneficial options for sharing in the benefits of the Mexican Stock Exchange. The newest product offering by BMV is a SPAC (Special Purpose Acquisition Company). This tool was conceived in 1990 and has operated successfully in countries like United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and in stock exchanges such as the NYSE, Euronext and some Asian markets. SPACs have focused on sectors such as national security, financial ser vices, energy exploration and production, and health, among many others.

By the Corporate Communications Department of the BMV Group (Bolsa Mexicana de Valores), the Mexican Stock Exchange.

But… What is a SPAC? The Special Purpose Acquisition

Company (SPAC) is a financing vehicle which, through a public company with no operations or assets, is listed on the stock exchange to obtain resources through an Initial Public Offering (IPO) of Shares and Appreciation Warrants (rights to purchase additional shares), with the goal of acquiring one or more companies within a given timeframe, usually 24 months, to complete a merger. It mus t b e note d that the company or “promoter ” issuing the SPAC is managed by a team of experts in the mergers and a c q u isi t i o n s e n v i ro n m e n t . T h e y a r e i n c h a rg e o f d e f i n i ng t h e i n v e s t m e n t t h e sis , a n d will add value to the m a n a g e m e n t fo l l o w i ng t h e a c q u isi t i o n . T h us , independent companies, corporations and assets of varying sizes have access to a financial management team with operational expertise through the promoter, allowing for their development or growth of their capital through an IPO. Further, the appeal for the investor lies in the fact that, by purchasing a share, he/ she also receives a warrant

which grants the right to purchase additional shares at a pre-established price. In order to grant certainty to the investor’s participation, and in the rare event the SPAC does not bring an acquisition to term, the investment will be settled and the company delisted from the Mexican Stock Exchange. The resources that had been contributed by the investor will be reimbursed in cash, and the promoter would not be entitled to receive a share of such funds. No doubt the SPAC is an important tool the Mexican Stock Exchange developed that will benefit the market and its participants, thus it is expected many companies will want to take advantage of the benefits of this new class of asset that will greatly add to the economic development of Mexico.

Bureau of Economic Analysis Survey Forms By Austin PeĂąa

Certain U.S. entities with international transactions are required to report their international trade business to the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). Additionally, certain kinds of foreign entities must also file BE forms if they transaction business with U.S. entities. This reporting is documented on the BE series of forms available on the BEA website, These forms are informational only and do not assess tax, but those who are required to file can be penalized for failing to file the required forms. The entities with international business activities that are required to file BE forms fall into four categories: 1. shipping businesses; 2. financial services firms; 3. U.S. persons with large payments to non-U.S. persons; and 4. entities with ownership of a foreign business. The first category, shipping businesses with international transactions, includes airline operators and ocean carriers. The financial service category includes financial service providers, insurance companies, and credit card companies. The third category consists of U.S. persons who pay over $1 million to foreign individuals. The final category comprises U.S. entities that own foreign entities and U.S. entities owned by foreign entities. If you own or participate in an entity included in one of these four categories, then you and/or your organization may be required to file one or more forms of the BEA forms. Determining the correct form to file can be a difficult process as the forms are revised regularly and there are multiple versions of many forms. In addition, some entities will also need to file multiple forms; for example, a U.S. entity owned by a foreign entity may need to file BE-605, BE-13, and BE-15 forms. If you are concerned that you may have a filing requirement, please contact Sol Schwartz & Associates on 210 384 8000.



For more than a quarter century, the U.S.-Mexico Chamber of Commerce has hosted its annual meeting and Good Neighbor Awards (GNA) gala dinner in Washington, D.C. this past may. In addition to the board of directors’ meeting, other activities typically include seminars and briefings to bring the private and public sectors together for meaningful and timely discussions on relevant issues of the day, especially as they relate to trade, investment, border facilitation and security. this year’s meetings were very productive and are briefly described below.


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White House Briefing The U.S.-Mexico Chamber of Commerce opened the conference with a White House briefing to address timely topics in the U.S.-Mexico relationship. While President Donald Trump and relevant cabinet members were in Brussels, Belgium, for the EU-U.S. Leaders’ meeting, select representatives from the Chamber board met with senior presidential advisors at the White House for a productive discussion. The briefing covered trade, investment, immigration, security, and prospects for the upcoming NAFTA negotiations.

welcome reception

Verizon Communications has been a valued Chamber member and active participant for several years. Among the many types of support it provided for this year’s meetings, the company hosted a welcome reception at their state-ofthe-art Technology & Policy Center in Washington, D.C.

In attendance were members of the Chamber’s board along with private- and publicsector dignitaries including the governor of the State of Guanajuato, Miguel Márquez Márquez. Guests were able to mingle, view the exhibits in the technology center and learn about the initiatives Verizon is spearheading.



Congressional Roundtable The Congressional Roundtable, as in recent years, was held at the U.S. Capitol and was hosted by U.S. Congressmen Pete Sessions (TX-32), Michael McCaul (TX-10) and Mac Thornberry (TX13). Topics discussed included the prospects for actions related to trade, immigration and the upcoming NAFTA negotiations. The congressmembers shared their views and insights on several relevant issues and on the dynamics between

Good Neighbor Awards The highlight of the Chamber Annual Event was again the Good Neighbor Awards Gala which, as has been the tradition for many years, was held at the iconic Organization of American States (OAS) building in Washington, D.C. A pre-dinner reception in the patio-style foyer featured mariachis and margaritas.

PRIVATE SECTOR AWARD Lic. Juan Antonio González Moreno, chairman and CEO of Gruma, parent company of Mission Foods, and founder of the Mission Foods Texas-Mexico Center at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.

Congress and the U.S. administration. Their comments had a positive tone regarding the legislative agenda. A reception at the Capitol after the presentations provided attendees the opportunity to interact with the hosts on a oneon-one basis. Congressional aides then took some of the guests on a tour of public areas of the historic building not usually seen by outsiders.

Following the reception, guests entered the magnificent Hall of Flags and Heroes to the sounds of mariachi classics and were seated for a gourmet dinner and to honor the year’s recipients of the Chamber’s Good Neighbor Awards. Our congratulations to the awardees and heartfelt thanks for their continuing support of the U.S.-Mexico Chamber of Commerce and issues of biand tri-national trade.

The 6th Jose Juan de Olloqui Hemispheric Leadership Award: Ambassador Juan B. Sosa, Consul General of Panama in Houston, and former Ambassador of Panama to the U.S. (1987-1989).



Honorable Miguel Márquez Márquez,

Honorable Rick Perry,

governor of the State of Guanajuato.

U.S. Secretary of Energy and former governor of Texas.



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Why The SMU Mission Foods Texas-Mexico Center believes in free trade Since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was implemented in 1994, trade has increased dramatically among Canada, the United States and Mexico. While the deal isn’t perfect, the SMU1 Mission Foods Texas-Mexico Center believes it has been critical to encouraging integration in North America, especially between the U.S. and Mexico. The mission of this Center is to better understand the relationship between Texas and Mexico and to encourage collaboration and integration between the two neighbors; NAFTA is crucial to this mission.


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exico’s opinion of the U.S. is at an all-time low, according to a Pew Research survey, but Texas hasn’t stopped working for a better relationship. As the second largest economy in the U.S., what happens in Texas matters to the rest of the country. The SMU Mission Foods Texas-Mexico Center (Texas-Mexico Center) believes Texas can lead the way to further integration with Mexico; it can be an example to expand and improve U.S.-Mexico relations.

“Our unique mission will influence policy questions and carry out the critical goals of engaging and mentoring our next generation of leaders,” said Luisa del Rosal, founder and executive director of the center. The Texas-Mexico Center, part of Southern Methodist University, is a research policy center looking to understand and explore the dynamic political, cultural, economic and business relationship between Texas and Mexico.

“The Center will help shape important regional and national conversations on topics such as education, trade and energy—topics that impact our communities every day,” del Rosal said. “As a research policy center, it is a place not of rhetoric, but of facts and idea sharing.” The Center’s research focuses around five key areas of interest: energy, migration, trade and investment, human capital and education, and border issues. One of the many areas of study and discussion that the Texas-Mexico Center treats within these five focuses is the undeniable economic impact of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

“The Texas-Mexico economic integration under NAFTA is one of the great global success stories of the past 20 years,” said Albert Niemi, former dean of SMU’s Cox School of Business, according to a press release.

U.S. trade with Mexico totaled $525 billion in 2016. NAFTA is critical to the success of the entire United States, but Texas stands to lose the most if the deal is scrapped. Texas is the top exporting state in the U.S. and Mexico is its main market. Texas has the most export-related jobs, with 382,000 dependent on trade with Mexico alone; two million jobs in Texas are trade-related. The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas estimated that NAFTA accounted for a quarter of Texas’ six-fold increase in exports to Mexico since 1994. Within Texas, the most vulnerable sector in a world without NAFTA would be manufacturing, since electrical equipment and appliances account for most of the exports from Texas to Mexico. This center believes in trade and in a globalized world. Trade must be fair; there needs to be laws protecting laborers and consumers; however, it is also critical to understand that consumers everywhere benefit when products are manufactured and transported in the most efficient way. When a factory closes in a small town in Pennsylvania the costs are tangible and immediate. The everyday, constant benefits of affordable goods and services that are exchanged between the United States and Mexico are much harder to pinpoint but that does not mean they are less important. The costs of closing small town factories are much smaller than the immense advantages that free trade provides for all three partners.

“The average American doesn’t realize the impact a renegotiation of NAFTA could have on prices,” del Rosal said, adding, “They will care when the price of an avocado increases 35 percent. Texans will notice when their Ford trucks become unaffordable.”



Texas Mexico trade facts

Bilateral trade between Texas and Mexico totaled over $173 billion in 2016, with a surplus of over $11 billion for Texas ($92,674 billion in exports and $81,037 billion in imports).


This represents more than a third of the state’s total trade.

is the top exporting state in the U.S. and its main export market is Mexico.


is also ranked no. 1 nationally for export-related jobs.–382,000 jobs in Texas depend on trade with Mexico.

The largest exporting metro area in the US:

Houston The Woodlands Sugarland


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In 2015, Texas exports to Free Trade Agreement (FTA) markets accounted for 62 percent of its total exports, the main market being NAFTA ($52, 946 billion).

Exports from Dallas accounted for 13 percent of total Texas exports.

The DFW metroplex is the country’s eighth largest exporter. In 2015, Mexico was Dallas’ top foreign market, accounting for 17 percent of its total exports: $4,747 million dollars.

In 2015, in the DFW Metroplex alone, exports to FTA markets represented 45 percent of total exports, the main market being NAFTA with $8.8 billion (32 percent). Exports from Texas helped contribute to $2.26 trillion of all U.S. goods and services exported in 2015. Texas exports to Mexico have increased three hundred percent since NAFTA’s implementation.


Aside from small-and medium-size businesses, the main sectors that would be affected are manufacturing since electrical equipment and appliances are what Texas exports the most to Mexico. The petrochemical sector, transportation & IT manufacturing.



Even with this concern, after 23 years, the center agrees that it’s time to revisit the specifics of the deal. Neither Texas nor Mexico can afford for NAFTA to go away, but there is always room for improvement. A few areas of the deal begging for an update are telecommunications, e-commerce, visas and energy. An increase in bilingualism could help trade and negotiations on both sides of the border as well.

Labor and environmental regulations would also strengthen the treaty. The U.S. President Donald Trump administration’s original proposal borrowed rhetoric from the Trans-Pacific Partnership to build off existing requirements. Labor rights need to be included in the text of the treaty to ensure quality of life for all those working to make the trade partnership the overwhelming success it has been for almost a quarter century.

“We need to make sure there are visas for the jobs that actually exist today,” del Rosal said.

Overall, the Center believes NAFTA has been a positive experience for consumers; “Consumers lose their ability to buy things if we aren’t able to produce them in the most effective ways,” del Rosal said. “There has to be a better way to measure what value it adds to our economy than what percentage is made in a certain country.”

NAFTA professional visas allow people from Canada and Mexico to work in the U.S. in pre-arranged businesses, or for approved foreign employers; 60 professions are included in the program. There are many jobs that exist today that didn’t when NAFTA was negotiated in 1993. For example, Bloomberg reported that oil companies are lobbying for a new visa program to aid the flow of skilled energy professionals across borders. The energy sector provides an enormous opportunity for reform in NAFTA negotiations. The oil and gas industry has expanded drastically in the U.S. since the implementation of NAFTA which has led to further U.S.-Mexico integration with 60 percent of natural gas exports going to Mexico with Texas alone supplying 75 percent of Mexico’s natural gas imports. In addition, Mexico has instituted reforms in its energy sector, ending a 75year state monopoly on oil and gas, opening it up to the forces of the free market. Energy in Mexico is now an investment opportunity for the U.S. Telecommunications provisions in NAFTA are widely regarded as a success story of the treaty, since they advocate for free choice of providers, but there are still areas for refinement. U.S. companies would benefit greatly if they could offer their information services freely in Mexico and Canada. The new NAFTA could also rid consumers of international roaming and call fees to create cheaper phone plans.

What del Rosal is talking about here is value-added trade, which traces the value added by each industry and country through to the final export, as an alternative to measuring trade deficits. Measuring trade in these terms is essential to truly understanding NAFTA and the success of globalized trade. On average, parts used to manufacture a car cross the border five times. This makes it hard to determine the origin of various parts and products. When trade is evaluated through the value-added measurement, the U.S. trade deficit with Mexico is much less severe.

1 Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.

SUPPORTING CROSS-BORDER BUSINESS GARDERE HAS BEEN PROVIDING ITS CLIENTS WITH SEAMLESS REPRESENTATION ACROSS BORDERS FOR OVER 20 YEARS. Our award-winning Mexico and Latin America Practice, now operating in Mexico as Gardere, Arena y Asociados, S.C., represents U.S., European and Pacific Rim clients with business and investment opportunities into Mexico and advises Mexican private and publicly traded corporations in domestic and international matters. Our lawyers also represent clients involved in domestic and cross-border disputes. Our core focus includes corporate, energy, environmental, financial services, hospitality, international arbitration and disputes, intellectual property, labor and employment, litigation, mergers and acquisitions, real estate, tax and transportation. Gardere’s strength and success have been achieved through the combination of comprehensive resources of a large law firm with the expertise of over 230 lawyers in 40 distinct practice areas.






The U.S.-Mexico Chamber of Commerce, a nonprofit business association chartered in Washington, D.C. in 1973, is the leading binational business organization working to build mutually-beneficial trade and investment relationships in the Americas. Its mission is to promote business between the United States and Mexico. The success of NAFTA and its impact on the U.S. economy cannot be refuted, with tri-national trade up by 245 percent since 1993. The U.S. is $127 billion richer each year due to the “extra” trade growth that results from the cooperation of the NAFTA partnerships. As an example, Mexico is the largest market for the U.S. in energy while Canada is the biggest energy supplier, creating a combined $100 billion in energy goods and commodities. In 2016 the U.S. exported $231 billion to Mexico, which is more than it did to the UK, Germany, France and Italy combined, and nearly twice as much as it did to China. In agriculture, NAFTA provides the third largest destination for American-grown produce and crops.

PHOTO 1 Hon Albert C. Zapanta


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It is also telling to note that the current $500 billion trade gap was created by the relocation of American manufacturing and technology-based business out of the NAFTA partnership. China accounts for more than 60 percent of the U.S. trade deficit, and petroleum accounts for more than a quarter of the balance. North America, from the Arctic region to Panama, over the last twenty years has seen a major breakthrough in the way trade is conducted in the Western Hemisphere. The approval of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in the 1990’s brought together the economies of the United States, Mexico and Canada, establishing the framework that created the world’s largest trade region, connecting 450 million people, and producing $17 trillion worth of goods and services annually. During the 24 years NAFTA has been in effect, the region has experienced dramatic development with respect to consumption, production, distribution of goods, services, and persons. The hemisphere is indeed repositioning itself and with the opening of the Northwest Passage in the Arctic and the expansion of the Panama Canal, NAFTA partners are finding a need for additional focus on incorporating these regions into trade discussions.

We must consider the notion of North America in the context of today’s present challenges, including security, global governance, and the quest for energy independence; while securing the safety of goods and people that expedite trade in a secure and efficient manner along our border, providing stimulus for job creation through all NAFTA partners, and incorporating the use of technology to maximize returns and encourage further investment and update the North American Free Trade Agreement to a fair and balanced partnership. The border of today has been strengthened by more than thirty years of shared border interests, common objectives, opportunities, challenges and old partnerships. It will be these partnerships that allow the United States to meet the challenges the current economy faces ranging from economic blocs, competitiveness, pricing in international markets, and years of strong collaboration support, business opportunities in the hydrocarbon sector, information technology, supply chain management, agriculture, and investments. The 2016 Presidential elections in the U.S., especially the heightened focus and debate on the impact of international trade, immigration and the growing concern relative to cyber and physical security in the hemisphere, prompted the Chamber to establish the North American Working Group initiative.

The North American Working Group’s recommendations: Protecting the U.S. and Mexico trade positions by implementing an innovative SMART Border, leveraging technology, achieving an energy balance, reviewing trade agreements, workforce optimization and improving efficiency of smooth and timely transport of goods and persons; Developing and implementing IT platforms to achieve efficiencies in border security and effective trans-border movements of people and cargo;

Achieving supply chain efficiencies and manufacturing with continued evolution of a shared economy with respect to trusted trader programs, pre-clearance programs, improvements in innovation and infrastructure. Pursuing Public/Private Partnerships (PPP) to support mobile digital learning, skills development, job training, and expanding innovative financing to drive growth in all sectors.





Company history Kansas City Southern (KCS) was founded in 1887. It has endured much and prospered during its 130-year history, facing challenges at times.

mier Mexican rail corridor, and in 1997 were awarded the concession, marking the beginning of TFM, the privatized, northeast railroad of Mexico.

During the mid-1990s, large mergers in the U.S. rail industry threatened The Kansas City Southern Railway Company’s viability, but with the completion of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994, new opportunity arose for the company, its shareholders, employees, and its customers.

In 2005, KCS acquired Grupo TMM’s interest in TFM, making TFM a wholly-owned subsidiary of KCS and renaming TFM as Kansas City Southern de Mexico (KCSM).

In 1995, KCS closed an agreement with Grupo TMM, a Mexican-based ocean shipping and logistics company, to pursue purchase of the concession of one of Mexico’s soon-to-be privatized rail lines. Also in 1996, KCS and Grupo TMM submitted their bid for the Mexican Northeast Line rail concession, the pre-

Kansas City Southern’s North American network is strategically focused on the critically important north/south freight corridor connecting key commercial and industrial markets in the central United States with major industrial cities in Mexico. KCS owns all of the stock of KCSM. Through its 50-year concession from the Mexican government, KCSM operates a key commercial corridor of the Mexican railroad system and has as its core route the most strategic

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portion of the shortest, most direct rail passageway between Mexico City and Laredo, Texas.

This graph shows that carload movements are the larger component of international trade.

KCSM serves most of Mexico’s principal industrial cities and three major seaports, providing exclusive rail access to the United States and Mexico border crossing at Nuevo Laredo.

Source: AAR presentation, 2017

Finally, this slide shows exports by rail where they go and their magnitude.

Importance of NAFTA to U.S. Rail Industry, KCS and its customers NAFTA is critically important to the U.S. rail industry, including KCS.

Source: AAR presentation, 2017

KCS Cross-Boarder Traffic

According to a study done by the Association of American Railroads in March (AAR Study), at least 35 percent of U.S. rail revenue is derived from international trade. In 2014, there were 329 million tons of exports handled, 171 million tons of imports moved by rail, and 11 million tons of international transit freight involving all major rail commodity types. The study estimated that 50,000 rail jobs, worth over $5.5 billion in wages and benefits depend on international trade. In addition, the AAR Study pointed to significant U.S. freight rail revenue ($75.1 billion), tons (1,879.4) and units (32.2) derived from international trade.

Source: AAR presentation, 2017

KCS’s Network is the center of the North American rail System




KCS understands that today, over $1 trillion in annual trade takes place between the three NAFTA trading partners and trade with Mexico alone has nearly quadrupled since NAFTA was implemented. This trade is critical to the U.S. economy, 14 million U.S. jobs are supported by NAFTA and U.S.

Modernization of NAFTA is a worthwhile goal but cannot come at the expense of disrupting these vital trade flows Certainly, a 23-year-old agreement should be reviewed and updated to include issues not contemplated when it was originally negotiated; however, this should not come at the expense of disrupting vital North American trade and its importance to U.S. interests. I have joined 16 other CEOs of major U.S. companies in a letter to President Trump outlining our support for the administration’s efforts to modernize the agreement. In that letter, we offer to work with the administration to promote free and fair trade with Canada and Mexico, ensuring a level playing field, stimulating economic growth and job creation for American workers, farmers, and businesses.

High-level U.S. negotiation objectives U.S. negotiators should enhance the job-sustaining flow of trade across our borders, which has reached $1.3 trillion. Returning to the high tariffs and other trade barriers that preceded NAFTA is not in the interests of U.S. workers, farmers, and exporters. As Secretary Wilbur Ross and others have pledged, the administration’s pursuit of negotiations following the procedures established in the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015, known as TPA, will provide a more predictable environment for business. Pursuing the TPA statute’s negotiating objectives and following its consultation procedures will build broader support in Congress and the U.S. business and agriculture communities for this effort. It is in the U.S.’s interest for the Administration to proceed quickly and trilaterally. Uncertainty about the future of America’s terms of trade with Canada and Mexico would suppress economic growth and may cause political reactions that undermine U.S. exporters and their significant growth opportunities in these markets. Further, maintaining NAFTA’s three-party framework is critical to ensure a strong, profitable market for U.S. exports, to avoid disrupting the substantial, existing flow of commerce and the American jobs that depend on it. Finally, U.S. negotiators should try to achieve trilateral uniformity for Customs and Border Control, agricultural, and other border crossing procedures to improve the fluidity and security of freight moving across the U.S., Canadian and Mexican borders.

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Preserving Chapter 11 and ISDS critical for U.S. foreign investment most important need to retain in NAFTA. Retaining NAFTA’s investment protections is critical for U.S. companies with foreign investment like KCS. Under NAFTA, the governments of Canada and Mexico agreed to investment rules that guarantee U.S. investments will not be subject to discriminatory treatment and will be compensated in the unlikely event of expropriation. Enforcement of these obligations through Chapter 11’s investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) is critical. The investment protections are consistent with the due process protections guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. Decisions that result from investment arbitration cannot overturn the policy decisions, laws, or regulations of any country. All such decisions can do is award compensation when a government expropriates property or otherwise tramples on the rule of law. Under trade or investment agreements the United States has entered into with 54 countries, just 13 disputes have been brought against the United States and decided over the past half century, not losing a single one. ISDS protects U.S. companies from foreign governments’ arbitrary actions. It has been invaluable to U.S. companies and their millions of shareholders who otherwise would have been subjected to expropriation or discriminatory treatment simply on the basis of their nationality. Attempts by NAFTA partners to eliminate or change ISDS and its investment protections would deny an important mechanism for settling disputes and benefit no one but foreign governments engaging in discriminatory practices against U.S. companies. For these reasons, foreign investment protection and ISDS have earned strong Congressional support. U.S. negotiators must protect U.S. foreign investment in production because production needs to be proximate to consumer markets, and because U.S. investment in foreign transportation infrastructure facilitates U.S. exports. KCS believes there are very significant and growing opportunities to increase U.S. agricultural, energy, petrochemicals and plastics exports to Mexico. Mexico’s ambitious reforms to liberalize its energy sector provide the U.S. great growth opportunity in energy and finished petroleum product exports. Without the past and future investment in Mexican rail infrastructure, these opportunities could not be realized because these products would not get to Mexican markets.

Without Chapter 11 under NAFTA, future investment in this vital export infrastructure would be uncertain. Investment protection is the most important need to retain in NAFTA.

Conclusion NAFTA was negotiated 25 years ago. That alone gives rise to reviewing the agreement and updating it for today’s economy. The agreement has been generally good for the U.S. and North America’s competitiveness in the world; however, it can be made stronger, modernized and more inclusive of economic activity that was not included or relevant 25 years ago. For these reasons, KCS supports the administration’s notice of intent to enter into negotiations with Canada and Mexico That said, modernization cannot come at the expense of disrupting the trade flows that are vital to U.S. exporters, most especially agricultural exporters. To do so would impose a severe penalty on the 14 million American jobs depending on the agreement and the livelihoods of American families who depend on those jobs. This is especially true in rural America. We urge the administration to approach negotiations with our North American partners with a positive, winwin attitude. We believe the focus should be on enhancing the job-sustaining flow of trade across our borders; avoiding the high tariffs and other trade barriers that preceded NAFTA; following the procedures established in the TPA; and proceeding quickly and trilaterally.





By Gerónimo Gutiérrez, Ambassador of Mexico to the United States.





positive relationship is especially important as we work for the modernization of the North American Free Trade Agreement. This is a time for Canada, Mexico and the U.S. to increase economic competitiveness in our region, create more and better jobs and improve the prosperity of our people. The U.S.-Mexico Chamber of Commerce (USMCOC) under the leadership of Al Zapanta, proudly represents the Mexican-American business community and its ability to grow our shared economic space. For more than four decades the USMCOC has maintained its commitment to the promotion of trade, investment and economic development in our region. We recognize the work and perseverance of members, chapters and the leadership of the Chamber. There is broad consensus that, after 24 years, NAFTA needs to be updated. As we stand at the crossroads of the North American integration, we foresee a unique opportunity to consolidate our region as the most competitive in the world. We navigate this modernization with the goal of strengthening and expanding the bridges that already connect us. It is of paramount importance to remark that today— as it was when NAFTA was formed—the USMCOC is called to be a prominent voice and to communicate and promote the importance of a responsible and successful transition to a modernized NAFTA. In time of uncertainty, the role of the USMCOC and its members are crucial and will be tested like never before. The future of North America is at stake.

We can use what we have learned in the past to effectively modernize our agreement for the coming years; however, modernization must preserve our achievements to build the prosperous future we all want. The future of trade and production in our region will be driven by digital flows, innovation, knowledge, further liberalization and deeper economic integration. This is the way forward. It is important to remember that during the last two decades we have seen unprecedented growth in our bilateral trade. Mexico now is the United States’ third largest trading partner and its second export destination. In 2016, our bilateral trade totaled $580 billion and supported five million U.S. Jobs. While last year we traded $1.6 billion per day in goods, 19.3 million Canadian visitors and 18.7 million Mexican visitors spent $40 billion when travelling to the United States. Clearly the shared economic space is yielding good results for our economies. Also, it is widely recognized that NAFTA not only affects what we trade but also what we produce together through the North American supply chain. As a result, our competitiveness has increased dramatically in the global markets. Our economies have a great potential ahead. The energy revolution, our natural resources and the agricultural production, combined with a skilled and young population and workforce, give us comparable advantages worldwide. Today we have energy self-sufficiency and demographics that other regions could only dream about.




In this context, it is important to emphasize that in the last 25 years, the U.S.-Mexico relationship has become one of dialogue and close collaboration, where free and fair trade is a key component of broad agenda.

During ongoing negotiations, each country can advance its own interests while achieving a positive outcome for all three nations. This delicate balance is where the real challenges lie and where the real opportunities exist.

The Mexican government has worked closely with the United States in areas of immigration, border security and regional cooperation in Central America. Mexico has been a constructive partner, not only because shared intelligence and dialogue have become the rule in every bilateral issue, but also because of the work we have done at home to address and update our legislation regarding some of the most pressing issues.

We all need to be very responsible in this effort. Governments and elected officials; NGOs, academia and communities; workers, businesses and business organizations, like the USMCOC. We all need to do our part, actively participate in the process and decisively contribute to build on the progress we have made so far.

The administration of Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto has achieved a comprehensive set of structural reforms, including energy, labor, education, financial services, fiscal policy, competition policy, entrepreneurship and telecommunications. This impressive overhaul will transform the Mexican economy and raise the living standards through the rule of law, the expansion of political opportunity and the increase in productivity and competitiveness.

Looking ahead, Mexico remains committed to North America and we are ready to take the next step with our northern neighbors. Canada, the U.S. and Mexico have dedicated more than two decades to integrating and competing in the global economy. This is the time to work together, consolidate our achievements and emerge as the most competitive region in the world.

Š 2017 The Coca-Cola Company.

The Coca-Cola Company is proud to support the United States-Mexico Chamber of Commerce





The modernization of NAFTA is an opportunity to expand its success, address the current challenges, and adapt our integration model to take full advantage of the 21st century economy.


wenty-three years ago, the United States, Canada, and Mexico embarked on the most ambitious trade agreement of its time, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). This landmark agreement became the model for trade negotiations to follow and led to an unprecedented era of economic expansion across the globe.

NAFTA created a free trade area to leverage a vibrant regional market that today encompasses 480 million people and a combined GDP of over $20 trillion—and the three NAFTA partners have certainly benefitted from it. NAFTA’s tariff elimination and clear rules for liberalizing trade in goods, and services, as well as investment flows across the region, have significantly increased intra-regional trade, effectively tripling the trilateral trade to reach $1 trillion last year.



Companies across North America take full advantage of this platform to compete and export to markets worldwide under clear rules that provide certainty to make long-term partnerships and business decisions. The continued success of NAFTA lies in this certainty and the ability to sustain and develop supply chains that operate efficiently across the region, whether in agriculture, manufacturing or services. More than two decades of strong trade and economic ties between the United States and Mexico under NAFTA have built an effective and efficient supply chain that produces goods for world markets. Mexico is the third largest trading partner of the United States, after Canada and China. Bilateral trade has increased six-fold, from $80 billion in 1993 to over $525 billion last year, which is one of the most dynamic relations in the exchange of goods and services in the world. Each day, $1.5 billion in products are traded bilaterally.

As a strategic partner, Mexico is the second largest provider of products to the United States, accounting for 13 percent of total U.S. imports. Likewise, Mexico is the second-largest export market for the United States, buying 16 percent of the total U.S. products exported worldwide. U.S. exports to Mexico exceeded $320 billion dollars last year. This amount is larger than the combined exports made to the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) or the four largest economies of the European Union.

Source: Data from the USDOC.

NAFTA has enhanced our regional competitiveness, increasing regional value-added content to goods traded and produced in North America. As raw materials and semi-finished products cross the border multiple times, traded products accumulate value-added every time they are exported to each other. Overall, intermediate and capital goods account for 80 percent of the total two-way trade.

Source: SE-Washington with data from Banxico.




Due to the high level of economic integration between the U.S. and Mexico achieved since NAFTA came into force, when Mexico sells a product in the U.S. market, it could potentially be categorized as “Made in North America.” A strong regional supply chain helps U.S. companies remain competitive in the world marketplace by jointly producing goods for worldwide consumption at competitive prices, and by supporting jobs in our countries. According to the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, nearly five million jobs in the U.S. depend on trade with Mexico. The trade relationship between Mexico and the United States is strong, but it can be stronger. Both countries must continue to build on the solid foundation for growth established under NAFTA and work together to deepen the economic ties and extend the mutual benefits of the trade relationship.

The objectives outlined above guide Mexico’s position at the negotiating table, and the negotiation’s outcomes will depend on the balances achieved between the three countries. To lead these modernization talks, Mexico appointed Kenneth Smith Ramos as chief negotiator, strategically selecting a public servant with over 20 years of experience in trade negotiations. A 48-year-old trade expert with a Master’s Degree in International Economics from Johns Hopkins University, Smith Ramos leads the day-to-day technical negotiations in the talks between Mexico, the United States, and Canada. Throughout his professional career, he formed part of Mexico’s team that negotiated the pact in the early 1990s, coordinated implementation of NAFTA at the Ministry of Economy, and headed the Trade and NAFTA Office at the Embassy of Mexico in Washington, D.C.

To that end, the Mexican government, through the Ministry of Economy, conducted an extensive public information-gathering process with the Mexican business community, academia, labor organizations, and individuals, to guide Mexico in defining its objectives for a modernized NAFTA. Some of the identified goals of the modernization are as follows: Strengthening North American competitiveness by maintaining preferential access and non-discriminatory treatment for trade in goods, services, and investment within NAFTA. Moving toward an inclusive and responsible regional trade by creating a level playing field for increasing the participation of businesses, in particular small-and-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), in the regional supply chain. Taking advantage of the 21st century economy by capitalizing on synergies in the North American energy market, boosting the digital economy, and promoting the protection of intellectual property, among other innovation-enabling elements. Securing certainty for North American trade and investment flows by updating the dispute settlement mechanisms and provisions regarding government procurement, and promoting competition.

The modernization of NAFTA is an opportunity to expand its success, address the current challenges, and adapt our integration model to take full advantage of the 21st century economy. Mexico is committed to ensuring that NAFTA continues to be a state-ofthe-art instrument that contributes to strengthening North America’s competitiveness. Mexico is closely working side-by-side during the negotiations with the Mexican business community and with their U.S. customers and supply chain partners to enhance the business relationships that are making North America more competitive in the world economy.

PHOTO 1 Kenneth Smith Ramos

Center for the Return of Manufacturing Manufacturers must anticipate, plan for, manage and leverage changes in a new political, regulatory and economic environment. @returnofmfg 215-972-CFRM

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Nearly 25 years after its inception, NAFTA is being revisited. With the interdependency created among U.S., Mexico and Canada as a result of the treaty, that which has happened cross-border is as important as the decisions facing the treaty’s future. At history’s doorstep, opening the door to changes in this landmark agreement will undoubtedly impact its legacy.


hen the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) went into effect Jan. 1, 1994, the internet was essentially in its infancy. Few people at that time could have predicted how much the internet would affect our lives almost twenty-five years later—the convenience, immediacy and efficiency. Its impact on our personal and business lives today cannot be overstated.

Perhaps equally as unfathomable at that time was the impact and interdependency that NAFTA would have on consumers and companies engaged in cross-border trade among the U.S., Mexico and Canada. The magnitude is so great that it would be an injustice to define it as a regional agreement. Rather, it is hemispheric in its scope and impact. In the more than 20 years since the agreement was signed, technology and prosperity—as has been the case since the Industrial Revolution—has moved us



beyond the parameters established in the beginning. In many ways, we have outgrown NAFTA, which is perfectly understandable; evolution is a natural result of economic progress. The three North American partners have grown increasingly interdependent in trade, policy and culture while remaining sovereign countries with their own goals and needs, some of which are not adequately met by the limits of the current NAFTA treaty. This all leads us to where we are today. At the time of this writing, the NAFTA nations enter into the third round of negotiations, where much more substantial advancements are expected in the revisions to the agreement. These advancements are hoped to address matters of importance to all three countries and some will invariably drive changes to the mechanics of how trade is conducted on the continent. Some of those changes are related to cross-border trade, movement of goods, and compliance with the Rules of Origin (ROO). The U.S. administration has shown no strong stance on its position related to ROO; however, this approach should not be viewed as a lack of forthcoming changes. In fact, it is expected that there will soon be more information about how it will influence the structure of cross-border NAFTA trade. Our confidence stems from the fact that as the negotiating parties face the complexity of the details of NAFTA, the influence of ROO will become increasingly clear. Plainly stated, ROO will have a direct impact on the very spirit of NAFTA. The rules play a central role in helping ensure that the nations that are part of the bloc constructively enjoy the privileges of membership. With this heightened attention on ROO, there will likely be industries such as automotive and transportation that may feel a greater impact than other. The increased complexity in the sectors’ manufacturing

supply chain is exacerbated by changes to the harmonized tariff code/classification by participating nations, and the resulting compliance scrutiny that is likely to follow. As a result, companies large and small find themselves in the position of needing to understand the new compliance demands to be able to foresee other demands and properly respond to changes not previously considered. As our experience shows, to date, companies that emerge successful in light of such changes—whether they are ROO-related or not—are those that recognize that the day-to-day challenges of running a business can often prevent the executives from looking around the bend for impossible changes and responding adequately. An external perspective and voice is crucial for clarity in such times. Whether such information comes from others in the private sector or from membership in business organizations such as U.S.-Mexico Chamber of Commerce (USMCOC), it is valuable intelligence to be considered. As a private sector entity, Baker Tilly helps thousands of companies on an annual basis address their most complex manufacturing and other business-related challenges, regardless of whether they are domestic or cross-border, whether in NAFTA or across 147 countries where we operate. Because we understand change is a trigger for companies to evaluate their strategies and the tactics that follow, such companies turn to us for insight, foresight and an extension of their team to help them stay ahead of change. All the while remaining competitive during times of dynamic socio-political movement such as the present. As for membership in organizations like USMCOC, the benefits have been invaluable to us and to those we serve.



Working with fellow binational members in the North American Working Group has fostered dynamic conversation that has put the Chamber in a position of heightened leadership. Namely, one of providing direct recommendations to the previous and current administrations across NAFTA borders on the state of trade relations between the U.S. and Mexico. In our view, involvement with the Chamber has been one of the best ways to have a seat at the table and influence the future of our trading bloc. If this is your first time reading this publication or interacting with the Chamber, becoming a member can have a profound impact on your company. As a member of the USMCOC, it has been our highest privilege to be involved

in direct dialogue with Congress and the White House on matters of interest to all three countries. My ultimate goal and that of my team is to contribute to a constructive, productive trade relationship for generations to come and to bring additional voices into the conversation. As we continue to engage in conversation with Congress and the White House, it remains our hope we will see a positive outcome of the NAFTA negotiations. An outcome that is mutually beneficial, jointly constructive and fittingly marks the second iteration of a landmark agreement among three of the world’s greatest nations. And the people in these countries, especially our children and their children, are the ones to be most impacted by the outcome of the negotiations at play.

NAFTA has made a mark on all three countries and their people. The forefathers of these nations and those who followed during the deployment of NAFTA itself, have left a significant legacy from the past. It is our sincere hope that the modernized NAFTA and the neighborly relationships among the three countries will be a fitting tribute to the legacy our countries may aspire to achieve in the future. History is watching. Let us do well by it and by those who follow us.

Jeff Jorge, is a principal with Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP, and president of the USMCOC Great Lakes Chapter.





By Ricardo B. Salinas

Many of those in the United States who have spoken in favor of individual freedom, today demand government intervention to “recover the lost jobs.” This absurd demand is based to some extent on the fallacy that “Mexico has taken a large part of these jobs.” The truth is that most of the “lost jobs” have little to do with Mexico and will never return. Interventionist policies, far from resolving this problem, will only exacerbate it.


n a recent visit to Chicago, a city that looks to the future and not the past, I spoke to some friends about the contradictions and the alternative reality concerning Mexico that is being spread by the new administration in Washington D.C. In the city that is home to the University of Chicago, where economist Milton Friedman wrote his book “Free to Choose,” I thought about the ideas that are especially relevant today. Friedman’s work clearly explains why the freedom to choose is indispensable for progress and how government intervention in the economy inevitably leads to lower standards of living and an inefficient distribution of resources. Paradoxically, many of those who previously spoke in favor of individual freedom, today demand government intervention to “recover the lost jobs.” This absurd demand is based to some extent on the fallacy that “Mexico has taken a large part of these jobs.” The truth is that most of the “lost jobs” have little to do with Mexico and will never return. Interventionist policies, far from resolving this problem, will exacerbate it. Chicago clearly illustrates the causes of job losses in some regions of the United States that have absolutely nothing to do with Mexico. Reasons include technology, globalization and changing consumer preferences, which are beyond the control of any government. Take for example, Sears, Roebuck & Company, a reputable company. For much of the 20th century, Sears was an icon of progress and very much present in the daily lives of American families. It was launched in 1886 as a business centered on catalog sales and evolved to become a successful department store; however, Sears was unable to resolve the “renew or die” dilemma and faced a formidable rival in another U.S. commercial icon,


How can the jobs that Sears lost due to competition in its own country be “recovered”? Or how can Sears become “great again” in the face of the challenges posed by Amazon and other e-commerce giants? The reality is that this is impossible and undesirable. To recover a few thousand jobs at Sears, millions of consumers would have to pay an unacceptable cost in terms of price and quality of life. The same can be said of companies in industries such as steel, coal or cars, where many more companies have fallen to technology, global competition, and the endless quest to improve our well-being. Silicon Valley has surely brought down more industries in the U.S. than any trade agreement, but it is not politically profitable to attack this worldwide symbol of progress. I wrote about this phenomenon in a prior post about Matt Ridley and his writings on the Red Queen where continuous change is necessary for a species to adapt and survive in its also-evolving environment. In other words, continuous improvement allows species, or businesses, to maintain

a balance with their environment, which is also evolving. In the end, it’s hard for a single species to obtain a special benefit because they are all in constant transformation. The same applies to companies and industries—and no government can avoid this powerful reality. Public policies that prevent free choice and international trade have only led to a great decline in living standards, as is clearly occurring today in Venezuela.

The dementia surrounding Mexico Part of the populist discourse, which ignores forces that are beyond the control of any government, attributes the loss of jobs to trade with Mexico, without taking into account how trade has improved the lives of millions of consumers and created jobs in thousands of industries in the United States.



If U.S. President Donald Trump’s threats against Mexico were to become reality, which is increasingly unlikely, an impoverished and isolated neighbor to the south of the Rio Grande would be a risk to the United States for many reasons: 1. It would provoke the displacement of millions of Mexicans to the north; immigrants will always find a way to reach the United States, in spite of a wall that probably will not be built. 2. It would put the direct investment of large corporations at risk, companies like Walmart, Hyatt, Marriott, Ford, McDonald’s, General Motors and AT&T—companies that have invested hundreds of billions of dollars in Mexico. 3. U.S. exports to Mexico, which in 2016 reached $230 billion in products as diverse as corn, meat and gasoline, would collapse. 4. A weak country would be incapable of cooperating with the United States to ensure the latter’s security, not to mention the failed war on drugs.

After my visit to the United States, I read an interesting article in The Atlantic that addresses some of these points and emphasizes how close collaboration with Mexico makes it a key strategic partner. If there is anything we can thank Mr. Trump for, it’s that his Mexico smearing has highlighted the importance of our binational relationship. Over the past few months we have seen that Mexico has countless friends in the United States—none of whom have any doubts about the benefits of a close association, but things could change. As global citizens, we should invite relatives, friends, partners, and allies in the United States to convey the importance of the relationship with Mexico to their elected representatives. I believe that many who voted for President Trump now realize the importance of Mexico for their own survival. For over two decades, Mexico and the United States have benefited from a solid partnership. Far from breaking it, we must strive to make it stronger. The well-being of hundreds of millions of people depends on it.

5. Recessionary pressures and unemployment could bring an overtly anti-U.S. government to power that could end the successful partnership between our two countries. All of these factors would force Mexico to draw closer to the influence of other powers that are U.S. rivals.

Ricardo B. Salinas, is founder and chairman of Grupo Salinas, a Mexican corporation that operates businesses in media, retail, financial services, telecommunications, and internet industries in Mexico, the United States, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Peru, and Panama. For more information, visit

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While the modernization of an agreement implies its renegotiation, a subtle difference in a title may also imply distinct approaches to a negotiating table. The NAFTA renegotiation process is currently facing such a challenge. This article provides an overview of the NAFTA modernization discussions undertaken by Canada, the United States and Mexico, description of the current stance and expectations.


hen the discussions about reopening NAFTA for negotiation started, the Mexican administration presented a document to its senate entitled “Mexico’s Priorities in the Negotiations for the Modernization of NAFTA.” A similar formality was undertaken in the United States with a document named “Summary of Objectives for the NAFTA Renegotiation.”

Much has been said and discussed about these documents and their intent to deal with the objectives that each country wants to accomplish during their corresponding negotiation process. The subtle difference in the title of the documents (i.e., renegotiation vs. modernization) and the different approaches and intentions of the negotiation have also been discussed at length; in sum, whether the U.S. wants to “correct” what is



being perceived as an unbalanced trade agreement, and Mexico wants to set the groundwork for enhanced, future trade. From the room next door to the negotiating tables, it is reasonable to say that there have been positive developments during the process, but we still have a lot of room to cover. There is progress on uncontested topics where there is consensus from the three NAFTA parties about the need to modernize the agreement. These topics range from small business matters, to customs procedures, technical barriers to trade and e-commerce. The discussion of the contested topics, however, is yet to come. It will be interesting to see how the negotiations develop when the parties start taking about rules of origin, dispute settlement on investment matters, labor, environment, and dispute settlement on anti-dumping and countervailing duty issues. The negotiators will surely chart the path marked by their political leaders, so while the professionals negotiating the agreement may find good technical arguments and grounds to modernize NAFTA, there is still a political front that has to be addressed, and perhaps, tamed. Indeed, there is a political veil that keeps embracing the negotiations. This political veil is not only related to what the United States may understand as a good outcome for the negotiations, but also relates to the timeframes under which this process is occurring.

There has been substantial push to finalize the negotiations as soon as possible, as the political agenda for 2018 involves a presidential election in Mexico, provincial elections in Canada by mid-2018, and the United States mid-term Congressional election by late 2018. With this in mind, it has been said that it will be hard to find agreement on a modern NAFTA text if the parties are not able to conclude the negotiations by late 2017 or early 2018 at the latest.

Having said this, Mexico has been open to foreign investment and international trade since the mid-eighties when it joined the World Trade Organization. Since then, Mexico has relied on international trade to incentivize growth and prosperity in the country, which in turn has resulted in consistently encouraging exports as a public policy for growth. After NAFTA was negotiated, Mexico entered into free trade agreements with 44 other countries on nearly all continents.

At this point, companies still need to identify the impact to their supply chains and other business interests that may be adversely affected by this process They must begin or continue to engage with industry trade groups, international clients and suppliers, as well as policy makers, in order to minimize the negative effects on their businesses to the extent possible.

It will be interesting to consider the alternatives for Canada and the United States, as the three countries will need to be part of the agreement for it to continue with its existence. Keeping a close eye on the manner in which the negotiations progress is not only advisable but strongly encouraged as the outcome will most likely have a significant effect on the three economies individually, and in the region as a whole.

It is hard to imagine North America without NAFTA. Mexico has relied heavily on the U.S. market for more than 20 years and the Mexican and U.S. economies are so integrated that changing the trade rules will have a significant impact on both economies. The same can be said about the United States and Canada, and even the three countries collectively. In any event, under the worst possible outcome, the North American sourcing and manufacturing region would have to readjust to new rules, if any, at a substantial cost to all involved.

Alejandro Gomez, is a partner with Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP in Mexico City. He is former Undersecretary of Economy in charge of Foreign Investment, Standards and Trade Remedies and currently attending the room next door to the NAFTA negotiations. Andres Alvarez, Alvarez is a foreign legal consultant with Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP in Dallas.

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Esmeralda ResortPuerto Peñasco’s Newest Luxury Vacation Option Puerto Peñasco, Mexico, is an up-and-coming vacation destination located on the beautiful Sea of Cortez. Originally founded as a fishing village, this city of approximately 70,000 has transformed into an increasingly popular destination with residents throughout the American Southwest, serving as an ideal weekend getaway with its plush resorts, white sandy beaches, shimmering blue waters, colorful culture and easy access.


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he latest entry into this rising hotbed of tourism: Esmeralda Luxury Resort—a five-star destination for condo owners and vacationers alike.

Cited as a gem of modern architectural design, it’s striking white exterior with blue glass windows throughout was designed to mirror the beautiful hues of the Sea of Cortez just steps away. The resort spans nearly 12 acres, with an oceanfront over a tenth of a mile, but the real experience starts at your front door. Beautiful architecture, spacious and modern amenities, sparkling swimming pools, a private beach with relaxing palapas, and access to numerous activities all await to make your experience an exceptionally memorable one. Presently, one of the seven planned buildings has been completed with three more being prepared for vacation rentals and unit purchases. Esmeralda Luxury Resort features two- and three-bedroom condominiums of over 1,700 square feet, all with spacious terraces overlooking the ocean. Each unit includes two master suites, a whirlpool tub in the

master bath, a full kitchen with granite counter tops, state-of-the-art appliances, comfortable living and dining spaces, laundry room, and outdoor kitchenettes with sinks and wine coolers. In short, a thorough list of amenities is provided for vacationers, including a fine dining restaurant, gym, spa and pool bar, seeking style and comfort, with no detail overlooked. Three- and four-bedroom oceanfront penthouses are located on the higher floors, offering a minimum of 2,800 square feet of livable space and a minimum of 1,200 square feet of wrap-around terrace that provides unobstructed views of Puerto Peñasco and its world famous sunsets over the Sea of Cortez. Each penthouse unit on the top floor includes similar high-end amenities, but on a much grander scale, with three master suites containing three full bathrooms and a spacious floor plan to enjoy. They also include a private elevator for fast and easy access to your luxurious accommodations. The guiding principle of Esmeralda Luxury Resort is to combine the five-star luxury world-class resort with an emphasis on maintaining the integrity of the local culture.





Daniel Butterfield, president, is developing this resort utilizing team members from Mexico, Phoenix and Las Vegas to create themes and inspiration for each aspect of the resort from the relaxation of iconic pools and medi-spas to the decadent dining in four-diamond restaurants with world-class chefs. Lounges and nightclubs with headliner talent are in the planning alongside a Vegas-style casino, upscale Mexican and international retailers, and an array of bars and quick eateries. Puerto Peñasco is known for the wonders of its natural beauty including Sandy Beach and Bahía la Choya’s tidal pools. The nearby CEDO (Center for the Study of Deserts and Oceans) is open to the public and home to a fin-whale skeleton, botanical gardens, and information about the local ecosystem. Northwest of the city is El Pinacate y Gran Desierto de Altar Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage site acclaimed for its volcanic and desert terrain.

around Puerto Peñasco. Nature enthusiasts will delight in the thousands of species who call the area home throughout the various seasons. For those looking for more leisurely diversions, Puerto Peñasco offers something the entire family can enjoy from championship-designed golf courses, numerous water sports, vibrant nightlife, colorful markets, fresh seafood, authentic Mexican cuisine and romantic sunset cruises. Puerto Peñasco is an inter-mingling of Mexican and American cultures. Both Spanish and English are spoken here, with a sizable population of American residents. Most restaurants have English menus, and the U.S. dollar is accepted as currency by the majority of businesses in the city. So, whether you’re looking to own, or simply enjoy a weekend getaway, Esmeralda Luxury Resort in Puerto Peñasco is the newest option to investigate.

Kayaking and scuba diving in the Sea of Cortez and Gulf of California are popular adventure options, as is a milelong series of ziplines and visiting Isla San Jorge (Bird Island) to swim with sea lions. The Greater Altar desert has one of the world’s only oceans of active sand, offering thrill-seekers the opportunity to try their hands at sand boarding or roam the terrain in an ATV that can readily be rented in and

For more information, or to book a stay, visit Esmeralda online at or contact (638) 382-8292


Bringing value to communities of the Intermountain West has been central to Zions Bank’s proud legacy since it was founded in 1873. Zions Bank, a division of ZB, N.A., operates 122 full-service financial centers throughout Utah, Idaho and Jackson Hole, Wyoming.


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n addition to offering a wide range of traditional banking services, Zions Bank is also a leader in small business lending and has consistently ranked as the No. 1 lender of U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) 7(a) loans in Utah for the past 24 years and Idaho’s Boise District for the past 16 years. The bank also continues to be a leader in marketing SBA loans to women-and minority-owned businesses, which accounted for 37 percent of the loans approved by Zions Bank in Utah during fiscal year 2017. Supporting minority-owned businesses is a key focus of Zions Bank. In 2003, Zions Bank became the founding sponsor of the Pete Suazo Business Center in Salt Lake City, which provides resources and support for minority and underserved entrepreneurs. The bank has also been a member of the Utah Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Idaho Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and sponsored the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s annual convention in Salt Lake City in 2014. Zions Bank strives to foster workplace diversity and inclusion among employees from all walks of life. It offers employees career development resources and networking opportunities through internal programs such as the Hispanic/Latino Business Forum, Women’s Business Forum, Asian/Pacific Islander Forum, Black Business Forum, LGBTQ Business Forum and Military Business Forum. It also offers employees diversity and inclusion training. Industry recognition demonstrates Zions Bank’s role as a premier employer of choice. In September 2017, American Banker magazine’s “Best Banks to Work For” issue ranked Zions Bank No. 6 among large banks. In addition, American Banker magazine’s October 2016 “Most Powerful Women in Banking” issue listed Zions Bank among its Top Teams in the nation. Zions Bank’s Guiding Principles state: “We strive to be conservatively entrepreneurial, nimble, innovative, and energetic in creating solutions for our clients, while being judicious in our acceptance of risks. We want to be actively engaged in important community issues and to help provide creative solutions to community needs.”

In 2014, Zions Bank President and CEO Scott Anderson and Zions Bancorporation Chairman and CEO Harris Simmons met with SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet in Salt Lake City.

Zions Bank partnered with the University of Utah English Language Institute to establish the first-ever, community-based education cohort for adults seeking advanced instruction in English and provides scholarships to participants. The bank has also funded scholarships for adult Latinos taking basic-level ESL classes at other colleges. Employees in Idaho and Utah take an active role in giving to their communities. Last year, Zions Bank’s employees donated an estimated 100,000 hours toward community projects and served on more than 160 different nonprofit boards and committees. Zions Bank continues its pioneering spirit today through programs and financial support that make a significant impact on the community’s development—bolstering the financial success of families, neighborhoods, and Main Streets throughout the Intermountain West.

More information is available at



Northwest Chapter Seattle, WA

SUMMARY OF EVENTS With the purpose of promoting trade and informing members about business opportunities, the Northwest Chapter organized the following events in the previous months:

August Business Breakfast attendees heard Stephen Walroth-Sadurni of the Walroth-Sadurni Law firm was the guest speaker and presented the seminar “Extending Credit to Mexican Customers.” Dr. Roberto Dondisch, Consul of Mexico in Seattle, attended this event and talked about the MEX-AM Northwest Festival, an event organized by the Consulate of Mexico in Seattle with displays and information about business, culture, arts, gastronomy, cinema and music.

PHOTO 1 Business Breakfast with the participation of the Consulate of Mexico in Seattle •Eduardo Sosa, vice consul of Mexico in Seattle •Luis Morris, president U.S.Mexico Chamber of Commerce Northwest Chapter

PHOTO 2 Roundtable Luncheon with the Honorable Consul of Spain in Seattle •Luis Morris •Luis Fernando Esteban Bernaldez, Honorable Consul of Spain in Seattle

PHOTO 3 Extending Credit to Mexican Customers Mentions •David Spencer, past president of the USMCOCNW •Luis Morris •Susana González-Murillo, past president of the USMCOCNW and vice president & Country Manager America, Spain and Portugal of U.S. Bank

June Business Breakfast with

the participation of Eduardo Sosa, vice consul of Mexico in Seattle and Luis Mingo, head of the Political and Economic Affairs Office at the Consulate of Mexico in Seattle.

Vice consul Sosa and Luis Mingo talked about Mexico’s political outlook and the current state of relations between the U.S. and Mexico. They highlighted the importance of the Mexico and Washington relationship, and the great potential of Mexico’s strategic economic sectors and innovation.

Jorge Madrazo, past president of the USMCOCNW and current director of UNAM in Seattle (National Autonomous University of Mexico), was present at this event and mentioned the importance of the approval of the U.S. immigration reform and DACA program (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). Luis Morris Chapter president, recognized the Chapter’s past presidents for their service and support to the Latino community. Past presidents who attended the event were Jorge Madrazo, Susana González-Murillo and David Spencer.

Roundtable luncheon held in July featured The Honorable Consul of Spain in Seattle, Luis Fernando Esteban Bernaldez. The main topic was the current relations between the U.S., Spain, Pacific Northwest region and Mexico. Consul Bernaldez talked about programs and support that the Consulate of Spain in Seattle provides to the Latino community in this region. 3


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Northeast Chapter New York, NY

Engaged Forum Business culture of collaboration, integration and recognition between women and men in cross-border and domestic business in Mexico were the most relevant topics for our Engaged Forum on June 7.

Chapter celebrates 95th anniversary

March 30, 2017 95º Anniversary Northeast Chapter

To celebrate its 95th anniversary and reconfirm its commitment to the New York-Mexico business community, Chapter members and guests gathered on March 30 for a reception in the building that hosted the first office of the Chamber in the 1920s: the Woolworth Building in Downtown Manhattan. As part of the celebration, a commemorative plaque was placed in the building directory.


Cinco de Mayo Corporate Luncheon


June 9, 2017 Meeting with Ambassador Gerónimo Gutiérrez.

Cinco de Mayo offers a perfect opportunity to celebrate Mexican heritage and culture. The Chapter celebrated on May 5 by enjoying a Mexican luncheon at the prestigious Cosme Restaurant in New York City. Future of Trade: Mexico at the Prelude of a NAFTA Revision The Chapter hosted a conference on May 31 on the future of trade in North America. The keynote speaker was Ken Smith, director of Trade and NAFTA, who has since been appointed Mexico’s chief negotiator for NAFTA.

Ambassador Gerónimo Gutiérrez, The Regional Advisory Board of the Northeast Chapter held a private meeting on June 9 with the ambassador of Mexico to the United States, Gerónimo Gutiérrez, to discuss new developments and challenges on the economic and business relations between both countries. The meeting was held at the Duane Morris LLP law offices, hosted by Chapter president Eduardo Ramos-Gómez, a partner in the firm. Mexico’s Electricity Conference The Chapter organized a June 14 conference to discuss the most recent developments and opportunities in the Mexican electricity sector with keynote speaker Guillermo Zuñiga of Mexico’s Energy Regulatory Commission in addition to other energy experts.


Mexico’s Economic Outlook State Street, a financial firm and binational member of the Chapter, hosted members for a conference with a dynamic panel of experts who discussed the evolution of and forecast for the Mexican economy. The conference was held on June 18 in Boston. Mexico-Pittsburgh: Partnership Building & Business On August 9, the Northeast Chapter partnered with ProMexico to sponsor a conference on NAFTA and business opportunities between Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Mexico. This was the first time an event was held in Pittsburgh. Mexico’s Independence Day El Grito—Mexico’s Independence Day—was celebrated on September 15. The ceremony was led by consul general of Mexico in New York, Ambassador Diego Gómez-Pickering. There were more than 600 guests who were treated to spectacular views of the Empire State Building that had been illuminated with the colors of Mexico.



Great lakes Chapter Detroit, MI

PHOTO Jeff Jorge, Albert Zapanta and Rogelio Landin.

The Evolving U.S.Mexico Corridor On September 28, the Great Lakes Chapter of the U.S.-Mexico Chamber of Commerce hosted a forum featuring experts from Citibanamex, Citi Commercial Bank and the U.S.-Mexico Chamber of Commerce who shared their knowledge about the ever-changing cross-border landscape and how it impacts companies. The meeting, sponsored by Citibanamex, was held at the century-old Detroit Athletic Club located in the heart of Detroit’s entertainment district, presented an opportunity for members to network with other international business managers operating in the area. The attendees represented a diverse group of manufacturing companies, service providers and technology companies as well as the banking community through Citibanamex.

The United States and Mexico have a history of building strong trade relationships. As the outlook continues to evolve, companies are examining the opportunities and challenges that may present themselves through this economic corridor. This is especially true in the automotive industry as the OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) have asked their supply base to be more present in Mexico. Because of this, Michigan has strong business ties across the U.S.-Mexico border. Opening remarks were made by John McGuire, one of the lead commercial bankers at Citibanamex. Following McGuire was Chapter president Jeff Jorge, a principal and international services practice leader with Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP, and Albert Zapanta, president and CEO of the U.S.-Mexico Chamber of Commerce.

Citibanamex representatives effectively outlined the realities of the Mexican market not just in light of NAFTA but of its own consumer power. They focused on the manufacturing sector and the regions in Mexico where these industrial clusters were thriving. The event marked a milestone in the growth of the Chamber—the launch of the newest chapter of the organization. It afforded the local business community an opportunity to meet Rogelio Landin, the new executive director of the Great Lakes chapter. The discussion was followed by a networking reception.



Southwest Chapter Dallas, TX

PHOTO Left to right: Monica Alonzo, Dallas mayor pro tem; Sara Wilshaw , Canadian Consul; Roberto Alonzo, Texas State Representative; and Josie Orosco, Chapter executive director.

North American Trade Summit and Luncheon The Southwest Chapter of the U.S.-Mexico Chamber of Commerce held an event entitled “North American Trade Summit.” The Strasburger & Price, LLP law firm hosted part of the meeting in the conference facilities of their 60th floor offices in Dallas, Texas. The conference was followed by a luncheon at the Crowne Plaza Market Center Hotel. The objective of the event was to build new alliances and strengthen existing relationships by bringing together participants from Canada, Mexico and the U.S. In her discussion on the benefits of NAFTA, Sara Wilshaw, consul general of Canada, noted that automobile parts

cross the borders between the three trading nations many times before they are completely assembled and market ready. She also commented that everyone benefits when all three countries in North America work together, saying that the cost of import and export goods would increase if they were produced by any individual country alone. In addition to Wilshaw, other local leaders addressed the participants on NAFTA and cross-border matters. Roberto Alonzo, Texas State Representative gave a welcome to attendees and spoke about the timeliness of NAFTA negotiations. Other speakers were Gilbert Vasquez, a partner in the Strasburger & Price, LLP San Antonio office, who specializes in cross-border transactions; Mark Beasley, vice president for international development at BB&T bank,

and Nancy St. Jacobs who works in community business development for BB&T. The Summit gave participants a birds-eye view of local companies’ national and international business dealings and provided information to help the participants develop high-level strategies for assisting companies and other Chapter members. Approaching business in this way helps everyone by sharing information, resources and connections. The luncheon featured remarks by Dave Fender, president of Harvest Works LLC, an agricultural consulting firm, who spoke about the growing need in the U.S. for migrant workers to fill unfilled positions on farms.


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California regional Chapter Los Angeles, CA


Trade Mission to Pacific Alliance countries The California Chapter has organized numerous activities throughout the year for our members representing different business areas. One of the most memorable events was our first trade mission to the four countries of the Pacific Alliance, a partnership formed in 2011 that includes the countries of Colombia, Chile, Peru and Mexico.

Next, we traveled to Peru where the Trade Commission of Peru organized various seminars with AMCHAM, Mincetur, PriceWaterhouseCoopers,LLP, Pacific Alliance Chamber and ProInversion. Delegates were able to meet individually with business leaders to learn how to do business in the South and Latin American countries.

The Pacific Alliance is a free-trade zone that promotes economic activity among the four nations and opportunities for networking and studying abroad.

In Colombia, we met with the Colombian Chinese Chamber of Commerce, ProColombia and Chamber of the Pacific Alliance.

Our delegation began the tour in Chile. We had interesting and productive meetings with AMCHAM Chile, InvestChile, Ministry of Tourism, and FRUTITRADE where we learned about the major exports from Chile, primarily produce.

While in Mexico City, we had the opportunity to visit ProMexico, Mexican Stock Exchange, Mexico Tourism Board FONATUR and the Secretary of Economic Development of Mexico City.

PHOTO 1 Meeting with PriceWaterhouseCoopers, LLP in Lima Peru.

PHOTO 2 Meeting with the trade commissioner of Peru, Ricardo Romero in Lima, Peru.

PHOTO 3 Meeting with Colombian Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Bogota, Colombia.


Our chamber has also been very active promoting the Maquiladora sector due to our proximity to the border, and participating in monthly seminars on border issues.



Valle de Mexico Chapter Mexico, City Internationalization and Globalization Conference The Chapter sponsored a conference on internationalization featuring Miguel Ángel Leaman Rivas, executive director of Internationalization Projects of Mexican Companies (Export Promotion Unit, EPU) ProMexico. He defined internationalization as the growing communication and interdependence between the different countries across the globe to unite their markets, societies and cultures. Leaman explained that, through the network of free trade agreements, there are great opportunities abroad for Mexican companies. He invited those present to begin any export development process by arming their personnel with information, advice, training and technology. Additionally, he noted that during the process, companies must investigate the potential for a product by exploring the market, as well as the commercial opportunities. He suggested participating in international fairs as a marketing tool as they are a great commercial showcase and a simple way to access markets, others’ products and services in a cost-effective manner. The speaker concluded by urging participants to take advantage of the support

PHOTO Rocio Martinez, business development manager – Customs, TIBA de Mexico.

and networks they have at their disposal—public, private, nonprofit and international groups and organizations; entities such as ProMéxico, SE, Inadem, IMPI, embassies and Consulates of Mexico abroad, Sagarpa, embassies of other countries in Mexico, international trade promotion organizations, ITC and USMCOC’s binational trade chambers and partners.

Exporting to the United States

Mexico’s bilateral relationship with the United States is critical for the country because of the geographical position and the strong trade ties that have been enhanced since the signing of NAFTA. The United States has established itself as the first trading partner for Mexico, while Mexico is the third largest trading partner in the United States. Considering the importance of this business relationship, Rocío Martínez, business development manager with the customs agency TIBA de México, together with Eddy Tamez and Rocío Peralda from Laredo Customs, and Rubén Mora from the Latin American area of the same company, held a conference for the members of the Valle de Mexico Chapter.

The speakers informed the participants about the regulations, restrictions and prohibitions of some export products, showing them a broad picture of the processes and costs of entering into the American market. Both advantages and disadvantages of export and import between the U.S. and Mexico were analyzed. The panelists detailed the international rules governed by the International Chamber of Commerce that determine the scope of the commercial clauses included in the international sales contracts. Afterward, Chapter members stated that the information shared by the speakers will be useful to them as they consider exporting their products to the neighboring country.


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Guanajuato Chapter León, Gto.

4th International Forum on Sustainability and Social Responsibility From June 3 to 7 june, it was held in Helsinki Finland, the RECPnet Regional Chapter and 4th Members’ Assembly and Building Partnerships for Advancing Circular Economy and Eco-innovation Approaches were held in Helsinki, Finland. Recall that the BCPC has been a member of the RECPnet since 2009 and at each meeting organized by UNIDO and UN Environment we seek to share successful experiences, propose new projects and also obtain relevant information that will serve in the formulation of new strategies and proposals of regional projects that contribute to productive efficiency, pollution prevention and social improvement. The recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have created renewed impetus for governments and businesses alike to engage in sustainability in the most cross-cutting and ambitious way to date. A circular economy and eco-innovation greatly facilitate catching

up with the technological change through the implementation of cross-cutting and widespread sustainability practices by focusing on value chains, life-cycle-thinking, and the triple-bottom-line at the company’s strategic level.

4th International Forum on Sustainability and Social Responsibility The 4th International Forum on Sustainability and Social Responsibility was held on June 12. It detailed the implementation of various eco-efficient tools that facilitate business competitiveness, the improved use of natural resources, a decrease in negative environmental impacts generated by some ecosystems, and a better quality of life for society. The Forum’s format for the meetings was expanded by adding workshops and a panel discussion on the role of culture and sport in sustainability issues. Panelists included experts from Sonora, Oaxaca, Jalisco, Mexico, Mazatlán and Argentina as well as executives from Pirelli Mexico and Kansas City Southern de Mexico.

PHOTO Opening of the event.







For Further Information

California Pacific Chapter. Los angeles, CA.

Members Networking Breakfast


2029 Century Park E 90067 Floor 19th

California Pacific Chapter. Los angeles, CA.

How to grow your business implementing best practices golden Rules


2029 Century Park E 90067 . Floor 19th

Houston the Woodlands Gulf Coast Chapter

Networking Mixer


Fogo de Chao

California Pacific Chapter. Los angeles, CA.

U.S. Mexico Real Estate Investment Summit Los Angeles 2017


333 S Hope St, Los Angeles, CA 90071

Northwest Chapter - Seattle, WA

Second Mexican Business Delegation visiting Washington State

Columbia Tower Club 701 Fifth Avenue, Floor 75. Seattle, WA 98104




Binational Office

USMCOC Binational Conference

Southwest Chapter. Dallas, TX.

Excellence Awards Luncheon New Year’s Eve Celebration

Northeast Chapter. New York, NY.



For Further Information

Mexico, City


Crown Plaza Market Hotel


Times Square, NY






For Further Information

Northwest Chapter. Seattle, WA.

Business Breakfast / Members Meeting


Columbia Tower Club 701 Fifth Avenue, Floor 75. Seattle, WA 98104

Southwest Chapter. Dallas, TX.

Dallas in 2024


Crown Plaza Market Hotel

Northeast Chapter. New York, NY.

Mexico’s Economic Outlook







For Further Information

Northwest Chapter. Seattle, WA.

Business Breakfast / Members Meeting


Columbia Tower Club 701 Fifth Avenue, Floor 75. Seattle, WA 98104

Southwest Chapter. Dallas, TX.

Trade Mission - Durango. Mx.


Dallas - Durango



New members to the United States-Mexico Chamber of Commerce CALIFORNIA PACIFIC CHAPTER LOS ANGELES, CA



Be Social Productions Sector: Event coordinators

ABC For Change Sector: Professional Coaching

Alliance Air Charter Sector: Air Charter / Transportation Industry

Co-Production Sector: Manufacturing/ Baja California

American Express Sector: Financial Services

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Mink Global Sector: Law firm

Brown Brothers Harriman Sector: Financial Services

Department of Commerce Sector: Business / Commerce

Moms & Associates Sector: Insurance Brokers

Cetus Data Sector: IT Services

IP Living Sector: Telecommunications

CIBC Capital Markets Sector: Financial Services

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Nai Mexico Sector: Real Estate Nutridata Sector: Food Industry

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GUANAJUATO CHAPTER LEON, GTO. Aguilar consulting group Sector: Consulting Intrade Consultores S.C. Sector: Consulting Tequila 1921 Sector: Tequila Industry

VALLE DE MÉXICO CHAPTER MÉXICO CITY. RODCAL Consulting México, S.A. de C.V. Sector: Oil and Gas


RSM Sector: Public Accountants, Taxes


Texas Regional Center, LLC Sector: Real Estate

Ron Anderson Sector: Government

Zions Bank Sector: Banking Website: RSM US LLC Sector: Audit, Tax, Consulting Services Website: IBC Bank Sector: Banking Website:

Consult your regional chapter to obtain discounts. VALLE DE MÉXICO CHAPTER Mexico City.



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