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Ambassador Wayne Discusses 21st Century Border and Trade with Tijuana Mayor Bustamante and Business Leaders

Ambassador Wayne Discusses 21st Century Border and Trade with Tijuana Mayor Bustamante

Mexico City, October 1, 2011— United States Ambassador Anthony Wayne met yesterday evening with Tijuana Mayor Carlos Bustamante Anchondo in Tijuana to discuss the U.S. Government’s commitment to creating a 21st Century Border that is as efficient at expediting the flow of legitimate trade and travel as it is at preventing illicit traffic.

During the meeting, Ambassador Wayne expressed special appreciation for the rapid municipal response during the San Ysidro port of entry construction collapse on September 14th, in which the Tijuana police worked closely with U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials to re-route heavy traffic, maintain order, and manage the overburdened approaches to the Otay Mesa port of entry.

“The city’s quick reaction is just the latest example of the close coordination that exists between Mexican and U.S. authorities to act in the best interest of our inter-connected populations,” Ambassador Wayne said.

Ambassador Wayne reiterated that the U.S. government is committed to creating a 21st Century Border infrastructure, noting that the ongoing San Ysidro port of entry renovation project will help facilitate travel for the more than 110,000 people who cross into the U.S. there each day to conduct business, shop, or visit family and friends.  “We have a shared goal of increasing fluid travel, cross-border commerce, and investment in the border region,” Ambassador Wayne said.

Continuing with the theme of facilitating cross border trade and investment, Ambassador Wayne participated in a breakfast meeting in Tijuana on October 1st with Consul General Steven Kashkett and Tijuana business leaders.  During the meeting, Ambassador Wayne heard from representatives of both the Tijuana Economic Development Commission  (DEITAC) and the Tijuana Mexican Employers’ Council (COPARMEX) and discussed a variety of topics including trade, border crossings, tourism and security, innovation, youth leadership, and the importance of civic engagement. 

Ambassador Wayne said, “I’m impressed by just how interconnected our two countries are in this border area in so many ways.”  The business leaders explained the economic impact of border delays, citing nearly 7 billion dollars not spent in the Tijuana-San Diego area due to long wait times, resulting in approximately 20,000 jobs lost in the region.  Even so, Tijuana’s productivity and deliberate focus on innovation produces benefits on both sides of the border, solidifying the area’s status as a single economic entity. Tijuana exports 85 million dollars worth of goods to the U.S. daily; of particular note are technological products such as medical devices and flat screen televisions, including the majority of thermometers and pacemakers imported by the U.S.  “We do not underestimate the importance of the area’s economy, and we will continue to work with the business community to create a better future for our children and our societies", said Ambassador Wayne.