SAN DIEGO, California – Mayor Pete Saenz participated in the 8th Annual U.S.-Mexico Border Mayors Summit in San Diego, California, on Thursday where border mayors from both countries discussed issues of international trade, bilateral relations, immigration and other areas affecting their cities and signed two important resolutions. The summit was hosted by San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer.
The first resolution urges for the passage of the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement (USMCA) to ensure our business with Mexico continues to grow. The other resolution urges reauthorization of the North American Development Bank (NADBank) so as to facilitate more investment in much-needed border water and road infrastructure projects. Both resolutions were signed by 15 mayors from California, Baja California, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona.
The USMCA is an updated trade agreement that will replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which was enacted in 1994. Laredo has largely benefited since NAFTA went into effect. Currently, Laredo is the largest land port in the United States and the second-largest port overall, right after the Port of Los Angeles. Annual trade value that goes through Port Laredo is approximately $235 billion and facilitates approximately one third of all U.S.-Mexico trade.
“The USMCA must be ratified as soon as possible by the U.S. Congress and this was unanimously supported by a signed resolution by the U.S.-Mexico Border Mayors Association,” Mayor Saenz said. “It is clear to border mayors that Mexico is a much-needed trading partner which positively impacts the economies of border states and the nation.”
“Furthermore, NADBank must be further funded by both the U.S. and Mexico as soon as possible to finance crucial border infrastructure,” Mayor Saenz stated. “This too was unanimously supported by a signed resolution by the U.S.-Mexico Border Mayors Association.”
On the issue of immigration, Mayor Saenz says, “The U.S. for many years has been serious about enforcing its immigration laws. Despite this fact, some migrants continue attempting to enter the U.S. illegally for various reasons. Mexico, under President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, at first was very inviting of migrants into Mexico. But as of recent months, the country has been turning migrants away to accommodate the U.S. Mexico is currently overwhelmed and can no longer serve this deterrence role for the U.S. for lack of capacity and related resources and is asking for international intervention to help address the root causes of such migration toward the U.S. Although migrant numbers entering the U.S. are currently down, primarily as a result of the Migrant Protection Protocols, both U.S. and Mexican officials are uncertain as to what the foreseeable future may hold.
“As for Mexico, it encourages those Mexican citizens wanting to immigrate to the U.S. to do so legally. Upon some becoming naturalized U.S. citizens, Mexico feels this should help build better relationships with the U.S. since these naturalized immigrants will then gain and grow in economic and political influence,” he added.
“It is imperative for Border Mayors to continue to lead the narrative and define their communities and regions so that others from the outside may not erroneously do so. We must work together to solve the issues that affect our border communities and our two countries.”