The San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce will lead nearly 90 area political and business leaders on an annual trip to Mexico City, beginning Sunday, to strengthen binational ties.
The delegation includes county Supervisor Ron Roberts, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, Imperial Beach Mayor Serge Dedina and Tijuana Mayor Juan Manuel Gastelum. Also making the trip will be three members of the San Diego City Council and representatives of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Port of San Diego and Sportfishing Association of California.
They’ll be heading south at a time of uncertainty in relations between Mexico and the U.S., as President Donald Trump champions a wall at the border and tightens immigration enforcement. Also, officials in the South Bay have accused colleagues in Mexico of not being forthcoming about a sewage spill last month that fouled the Tijuana River Valley on this side of the border.
Civic boosters in San Diego and Tijuana have championed cross-border trade as a way to strengthen the regional economy. Last week, Faulconer and Gastelum signed an agreement that spells out how officials in the two municipal governments will cooperate.
“This trip and our mission as champions for cross-border commerce are more important than ever,” said Jerry Sanders, the chamber’s president and CEO. “Our region is a national model for successful cross-border commerce and it is critical that we bring the voice of our region’s business community to leaders in Mexico City to keep moving forward with the projects and policies necessary for economic growth.”
Delegates will meet with top Mexican government officials and agencies in support of policies and initiatives important to regional growth and global competitiveness, according to the chamber.
The organization listed policy priorities as promoting cross-border commerce, supporting trade agreements, enhancing efficient border infrastructure and increasing tourism.
—City News Service