April 12, 2019


CEOs and Senior Government Officials Gather to Discuss the Importance of USMCA and Other Opportunities to Strengthen Economic and Commercial Ties

MÉRIDA, YUCATÁN, MÉXICO — Business executives and high-ranking government officials from the United States and Mexico, including President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, gathered today in Mérida for the 11th meeting of the U.S.-Mexico CEO Dialogue. The two-day Dialogue focused heavily on boosting economic growth, strengthening competitiveness, and increasing trade and investment between the United States and Mexico.

The U.S. business delegation was led by Thomas J. Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and Patrick Ottensmeyer, President and CEO of Kansas City Southern, who both serve as co-chairs for the Dialogue. In a speech to business leaders and government officials, Donohue stressed the importance of passing the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and reiterated the U.S. business community’s continued commitment to the bilateral relationship.

“One of the U.S. Chamber’s highest priorities is preserving the vital U.S.-Mexico relationship and fortifying it for the continued prosperity of our peoples,” said Donohue. “We must finish the job on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement and eliminate the uncertainty that has hung over U.S. and Mexican businesses for too long—it’s time to start reaping the benefits of a strengthened, modernized trade deal.”

“For more than six years, the U.S.-Mexico CEO Dialogue has been a very effective platform for advancing the U.S.-Mexico commercial relationship,” said Ottensmeyer. “Today, more than ever, it plays a critical role to both preserve and strengthen this vitally important economic, political and social relationship.”

For the first time at a Dialogue meeting, the private and public-sector leaders discussed strategies for increasing investment and economic opportunities in southern Mexico, identifying key priorities like strengthening the rule of law, improving the security environment, and developing the regional workforce. Additionally, the U.S. Chamber and Mexico’s Consejo Coordinador Empresarial (CCE) signed a joint statement today that reinforces their commitment to collaborate with both governments to strengthen economic growth and competitiveness in North America.

Carlos Salazar, chairman of CCE, and Guillermo Vogel, director and vice chairman of the board of Tenaris, serve as co-chairs for the Mexican business delegation of the Dialogue.

"During the 11th edition of the U.S.-Mexico CEO Dialogue, a strong message of confidence to invest in Mexico prevailed. This was the basis for all of our conversations with the government officials who joined us from the different economic sectors,” said Salazar. "We also celebrated the government's commitment to provide legal and economic certainty for the promotion of investments, as well as to guarantee respect of legality, consolidate a solid rule of law, combat corruption, and guarantee safety and security.”

“It was a very successful meeting with the participation of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and 58 important CEOs from both countries, as well as cabinet secretaries, and high-ranking officials of the United States and Mexico,” said Vogel. “We had an open and transparent discussion to define the actions and mechanisms that stimulate investment, employment growth, and competitiveness in the North American region.”

The U.S.-Mexico CEO Dialogue was created in 2013 by the U.S. Chamber and CCE to strengthen economic and commercial ties between the two countries. The group convenes U.S. and Mexican companies that are committing resources and investing in both markets to advocate for the bilateral trade and commercial relationship. Participants from the U.S. government at this Dialogue included Secretary of Commerce Wilbur L. Ross, Jr., Department of State Counselor T. Ulrich Brechbuh, Department of Energy Deputy Secretary Daniel Brouillette, and Overseas Private Investment Corporation Chief Operating Officer Ryan Brennan among others. Participants from the Mexican government included President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Secretary of Foreign Affairs Marcelo Ebrard, Secretary of Economy Graciela Márquez Colín, Secretary of Labor Luisa María Alcalde, and Secretary of Energy Rocío Nahle among others.