WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, during the 8th meeting of the U.S.-Mexico CEO Dialogue, today launched the U.S.-Mexico Economic Council, an organization that will work to further enhance the economic and commercial partnership between the two countries.
The U.S. Chamber also hosted U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal on the sidelines of the U.S.-Mexico CEO Dialogue for an announcement related to sugar trade talks between the two countries.
Thomas J. Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber, said of that announcement, “Today’s news that the United States and Mexico have come to a settlement over sugar demonstrates the willingness of both governments to work through difficult issues in a constructive manner. The Chamber applauds Secretary Ross and the Trump administration for listening to the concerns of industry and averting trade actions that would have cost American jobs and stifled economic growth. We hope this agreement in principle sets a positive tone for the forthcoming negotiations to modernize NAFTA.”
The new U.S.-Mexico Economic Council (USMXECO) will serve as a platform for both countries’ private sectors to work together in the creation of innovative solutions to shared policy challenges, all in the name of boosting growth and creating good jobs in the United States and across North America. It stems from the existing U.S.-Mexico CEO Dialogue, which was established in 2013 by the U.S. Chamber and the Consejo Coordinador Empresarial (CCE) as a bilateral private sector forum fostering conversation on key economic and trade issues that impact the relationship between the two countries.
“The economic fates of the U.S. and Mexico are linked, and today, we are optimistic about the future of our relationship and the competitiveness of North America,” said Donohue. “We’re optimistic because in moments of challenge and uncertainty, the business communities of the U.S. and Mexico come together in partnership and friendship, and we emerge stronger. The fruits of today’s discussions, coupled with the important work this new council will undertake, will help to drive even more growth and fortify our economic relationship for the long term.”
The U.S.-Mexico Economic Council is the U.S. Chamber’s 15th bilateral business council. It is comprised of dozens of companies from a range of industries and sectors of the economy.
Today’s meeting of the U.S.-Mexico CEO Dialogue was led on the U.S. side by Donohue and his co-chair Michael L. Ducker, president and CEO of FedEx Freight. Juan Pablo Castañón, chairman of CCE, and Guillermo Vogel, director and vice chairman of the board of Tenaris, serve as co-chairs for the Mexican delegation of the Dialogue.
“At FedEx we have more than 400,000 team members connecting people and possibilities around the world, and all of our jobs are trade jobs. I’m glad to lead conversations focused on enhancing the critical economic and trade relationship the U.S. has with Mexico,” said Ducker. “FedEx and thousands of other U.S. companies are competitive on a global scale because of our mutually beneficial relationship with Mexico. That’s why we are committed to solutions that will allow businesses in the U.S. and Mexico to pursue shared goals and strengthen trade between the two countries.”
Apart from the establishment of the new council, business leaders engaged in discussion throughout the Dialogue about an array of issues critical to the bilateral economic relationship, including the effort to modernize NAFTA during the upcoming negotiations between the U.S., Mexico, and Canada. Dialogue participants were united in their recognition of the important opportunity ahead to update the agreement for the 21st century.
“North American cooperation has transformed the way that Mexico and the U.S. do business with each other. With NAFTA as our foundation, we create products together under a paradigm of integrated production and sell them successfully to the world,” said Castañón. “The CEO Dialogue has become a great tool for strengthening the ties between our business communities. As economic and trade trends change and the global market becomes even more competitive, we must stand together as the leaders and partners that we are, taking advantage of deeply integrated North American region, enhancing the role of small and medium enterprises in our value chains, and engaging our human capital through innovation and technology. North America can and must be a leader in the future of this global economy.”
Vogel added, “I was encouraged by today's discussion, focused on efforts to strengthen bilateral trade and enhance North American competitiveness.”
Recently, in a speech to business leaders in Mexico City, Donohue outlined key objectives to which efforts to modernize NAFTA should adhere, including to do no harm, to move quickly, to keep the agreement trilateral, and to follow TPA.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations. Its International Affairs division includes more than 70 regional and policy experts and 25 country- and region-specific business councils and initiatives. The U.S. Chamber also works closely with 117 American Chambers of Commerce abroad.