In mid-January, Al Zapanta traveled to Mexico City to conduct a series of meetings with Board Members, Mexican Government Officials and U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, Christopher Landau.

He first met with Dr. Jesús Seade, Undersecretary for North American and Chief Mexican Negotiator for the USMCA. During the meeting they both discussed the intricacies of the bilateral relationship, the evolution of the North American Free Trade Agreement into the USMCA, and agreed to maintain close communication to support the implementation process of this new agreement.

José García Torres, President of the Valle de México Chapter, and Sergio García, Advisor for Trade and Investment of the USMCOC joined Mr. Zapanta for a meeting with key officials of Mexico’s Secretary of Economy (SE): Mtra. Liliana Padilla, Director General of Policy and Investment Promotion; Act. Sergio Juárez, Director General of Foreign Investment; César Remis, Chief of the International Business Unit; Luis Godoy Rueda, Director of Global Economic Intelligence Unit, and Lydia Antonio, Director General of Administration of Trade Agreements. Officers from SE expressed interest in working with the Chamber to promote small and medium businesses and also to identify supply chain challenges and solutions.

On January 22, Mr. Zapanta met with his old friend, Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development of Mexico, Dr. Víctor Villalobos, who shared his vision and priorities for “el campo mexicano”: to increase rural income, improve food security and self-sufficiency in basic commodities. Secretary Villalobos expressed his interest to collaborate once more with the Chamber and to be with us in future events.

During his trip, Mr. Zapanta met with Dr. José Zozaya, President and Executive Representative of Kansas City Southern de México, and Chairman of the USMCOC Board of Directors, and Francisco Cervantes, President of Confederation of Industrial Chambers of Mexico (Confederación Nacional de Cámaras Industriales-CONCAMIN). We are currently in the process of developing a Memorandum of Collaboration between the both chambers.

Al Zapanta, José García Torres and Sergio García were hosted by Lic. Pablo Ruiz Limón, Director of Consejos Consultivos of Citibanamex, and Lic. Francisco Caballero Fernández, Head of Public Affairs at the magnificent Palacio de Cultura Citibanamex – Palacio de Iturbide in downtown Mexico City. Citibanamex has extended an invitation to host our Binational Conference in Mexico City, on November 18-19, 2020.

Finally, Mr. Zapanta had the opportunity to meet U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, Christopher Landau. Mr. Zapanta presented to him the history of the Chamber and our accomplishments, and invited the Ambassador to serve as Honorary President of the Chamber, which he graciously accepted. Along with Ambassador Landau, Ambassador of Mexico to the U.S., Martha Bárcena, would be our Chamber Honorary Presidents. We are very proud to have them both as supporters of the USMCOC.