By David Zapata, TAB VP of International Affairs
TAB traveled to Mexico City for the High-Level Economic Dialogue (HLED) meeting, where TAB CEO Glenn Hamer and I were able to highlight the economic partnership between Texas and Mexico.
HLED brings together government leaders from the national governments of the U.S. and Mexico and provides the platform for both countries to leverage their strong economic integration, fostering regional prosperity, expanding job creation, promoting investment, and reducing inequality and poverty.
HLED convened key leaders such as Mexican officials Secretary of State Marcelo Ebrard, Secretary of Economy Tatiana Clouthier, Secretary of Finance Rogelio Ramirez, and American officials such as Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, and CBP Commissioner Chris Magnus. The meetings were complemented by participation of ambassadors from both countries, US Ambassador Ken Salazar and Mexican Ambassador Esteban Moctezuma.
Within the framework of HLED, both countries invited representatives of the private sector, academia and non-profit sectors and hosted a complementary meeting with these binational stakeholders. We are thankful to the office of Mexican Undersecretary for Foreign Investment, Luz Maria de la Mora, for inviting TAB to participate in this part of the event. The dialogue with stakeholders included Undersecretary de la Mora, Jayme White, Deputy US Trade Representative (USTR), Jose Fernandez, Undersecretary for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment for the US Dept of State, Stephen Alley, Minister Counselor for Economic Affairs for the US Dept. of Commerce, along with many other Mexican counterpart officials.
TAB is grateful for the invitation and honored to participate in this important conversation between business leaders and government officials at a binational level. We were glad to join long time trade champion Gerry Schwebel from IBC and important Mexican private sector friends such as Juan Pablo Rosas from Rassini, at the table to represent Texas and our TAB members in this important discussion that helps shape and navigate the US-MX economic and trade relationship. The highlights of the discussion included the development of strategies and technology to exchange information more effectively and safely at border points of entry to expedite commercial and personal crossings. Furthermore, we discussed the need to provide funding for existing infrastructure projects in the border, particularly for our existing border crossings, as well as to approve the construction of new bridges that will allow us to expand our current trade capabilities with Mexico, keeping in mind that already more than approximately $450 billion a year worth of total trade crosses through Texas.
We identified several areas where we foresee opportunities to explore further collaboration since parts of the discussion centered around the importance of bringing production of chips and semiconductors to North America and exploring mechanisms to accomplish these goals. Also, there are opportunities provided by the USMCA to train a binational labor force by keeping the TN visas as one of the tools to bring qualified professionals to fill key industry positions where needed. Finally, another key area to further collaboration is working with universities in Texas and Mexico to expand academic exchanges. Texas and Mexico have the potential to develop a complementary relationship as nearshoring takes place in the region and developing a workforce that is familiar with both business and social cultures by having studied in the region, will facilitate an efficient business environment.
At TAB, we believe there are many opportunities where we can be an active and constructive partner in these binational conversations. With more than $230 billion in trade just between Texas and Mexico (and growing), it’s important that we continue being present during these conversations and giving a voice to our members and to the Texas private sector. TAB President, Glenn Hamer and I are already coordinating future trips to Mexico City to continue engaging with Mexican stakeholders, presenting them with the perspective and positions of our membership in various areas and identifying areas we can collaborate or facilitate business deals.
Participating in opportunities like the High-Level Economic Dialogue is a positive for Texas. It allows us to be at the table where input and feedback are given to federal decision makers that shape the logistics and dynamics of trade between our two countries. Once more, we thank Undersecretary Luz Maria de la Mora for having invited us to attend and look forward to continuing developing a positive and constructive relationship with our partners in Mexico for the benefit of our binational community.