August 1, 2013

Mayor Strengthens Relationships with Mexico

(L-R) Manlio Fabio Beltrones of the House of Representatives in Mexico speaks with Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild and Nogales, Sonora Mayor Ramón Guzmán Muñoz on the floor of the Mexican Congress. (Photo: Fortunato Leal)

(L-R) Manlio Fabio Beltrones of the House of Representatives in Mexico speaks with Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild and Nogales, Sonora Mayor Ramón Guzmán Muñoz on the floor of the Mexican Congress. (Photo: Fortunato Leal)

Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild’s recent trip to Mexico City was a success.  The mayor received agreements from Mexican officials on issues ranging from roads to future summits.

Rothschild traveled in mid-July with Mayor Ramón Guzmán Muñoz of Nogales, Sonora, Pascua Yaqui Chairman Peter Yucupicio and a number of Arizona businessmen. They visited Mexico’s Congress, stressing the importance of the economic corridor between Arizona and Sonora.

The trip came on the heels of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto’s announcement that $300 billion will be invested to improve infrastructure throughout Mexico, with a top priority placed on Highway 15 through Sonora.

Mexico’s Undersecretary of Transportation and Communications, Raúl Murrieta Cummins, committed part of the funding to rail, road and border infrastructure through the Guaymas, Hermosillo and Nogales corridor. Improved infrastructure will result in lower prices for goods to Americans, he said.

Cummins also said the work of border mayors is recognized in Mexico City and now is the best time to get things done, with a 7 to 8 percent economic growth rate expected each year in Mexico.

(L-R) Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild, Pascua Yaqui Chairman Peter Yucupicio and Nogales, Sonora Mayor Ramón Guzmán Muñoz stressed the importance of the economic corridor between Arizona and Sonora, during a meeting with Mexican officials in Mexico City in mid-July. (Photo: Fortunato Leal)

(L-R) Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild, Pascua Yaqui Chairman Peter Yucupicio and Nogales, Sonora Mayor Ramón Guzmán Muñoz stressed the importance of the economic corridor between Arizona and Sonora, during a meeting with Mexican officials in Mexico City in mid-July. (Photo: Fortunato Leal)

“I was extremely pleased by our reception and the willingness of the elected and government officials and business people we met with to partner with us in creating a stronger economic region,” said Mayor Rothschild. “There is growing recognition of the positive economic impact trade can have on Tucson, Southern Arizona and Sonora. Investments our two governments make to facilitate that trade will pay off for decades to come.”

As part of better trade relations, the congressional delegation from Sonora promised to secure direct flights from Tucson to Guaymas, Hermosillo and Ciudad Obregón.

Immigration issues also were discussed with Mexican leaders. Commissioner of Immigration Ardelio Vargas Fosado committed, within 90 days, to reinstate border crossing cards for Pascua Yaquis with dual citizenship. Cardholders lost crossing privileges in Mexico after the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Yaquis live on both sides of the border.

Members of the American delegation also met with U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Anthony Wayne and the Chinese Ambassador to Mexico.

The delegation was recognized on the floor of the Mexican Congress by Manlio Fabio Beltrones, leader of the House of Representatives in Mexico. Beltrones committed to bring a Mexican congressional delegation to Tucson in November.

While Rothschild, Guzman and Yucupicio met with government leaders in Mexico, the business representatives met with corporate officials to strengthen relationships. During one of the meetings, representatives of Grupo Silanes, a large Mexican pharmaceutical company, expressed interest in expanding into Arizona and collaborating with the University of Arizona and Tucson-based Critical Path Institute (C-Path) to speed up development of medications.

The visit was Rothschild’s second trade mission to Mexico City and he looks forward to more trips in the future.

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