Saturday, October 6, 2007

Mexico's ambassador to the U.S. discusses major issues with state leaders

This piece came out last month. This piece is interesting in relation to the miner's strike in Cananea (see recent David Bacon article post). The ambassador said the following: "Unless Mexico can trigger economic growth and well-paid, sustainable jobs, even with comprehensive reform we won't be able to hold onto skilled and motivated people. Mexico's highest edge in the world today is its human capital, and we're losing it." It's unfortunate that supporting workers--and not breaking unions--is not part of his (the Mexican government's) agenda, as well. In fact, the mine situation reflects a priority of triggering growth; yet if working conditions—including the need for improved infrastructure—are not being met, the stated goal of creating incentives for Mexicans to stay in Mexico amounts to hollow, empty rhetoric.

Dra. Valenzuela

Mexico's ambassador to the U.S. discusses major issues with state leaders
Tyche Hendricks, Chronicle Staff Writer
Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Mexico's ambassador to the United States made his first official visit Tuesday to California, meeting with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in Sacramento to discuss trade, immigration, border security and the environment, visiting San Francisco and strengthening ties in the U.S. state that is home to more Mexicans than any other, an estimated 4 million.

In his seven months on the job, Arturo Sarukhan has taken pains to set a new, more pragmatic tone in U.S.-Mexico relations, emphasizing that Mexico must give its citizens a reason not to migrate to the United States, and at the same time working to broaden the conversation between the two countries beyond the intractable immigration debate.

"Comprehensive immigration reform in the United States has to start in Mexico," he said Tuesday in an interview with Chronicle reporters and editors. "Unless Mexico can trigger economic growth and well-paid, sustainable jobs, even with comprehensive reform we won't be able to hold onto skilled and motivated people. Mexico's highest edge in the world today is its human capital, and we're losing it."

Sarukhan, a career diplomat with a master's degree in foreign policy from Johns Hopkins University, touted efforts by President Felipe Calderon to build infrastructure and alleviate poverty in Mexico's southern and central regions, and to increase tax revenue and streamline regulations to help encourage entrepreneurs. Though Calderon's right-of-center National Action Party lacks a majority in Mexico's congress, the new president has had more success in passing legislation than did his predecessor, Vicente Fox, Sarukhan said.

Mexico badly wants the United States to rework its immigration laws to let the country's estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants - 5 million of them Mexican - obtain legal status, and to create a legal avenue for future foreign workers to enter the United States.

But with the failure of such an immigration bill this summer for the second year in a row, the Mexican envoy is turning his attention to other areas - including streamlining cross-border commerce, working out stubborn conflicts over water along the depleted Colorado River and jointly tackling the drug trade.

Sarukhan said he has been in talks with U.S. officials about a stepped-up attack on Mexico's powerful and brutal drug cartels. A forthcoming pact is likely to include expanded intelligence-sharing, and more hardware for Mexico's military and police, but would not put American troops on Mexican soil, as the United States has done in the drug war in Colombia.

"We're talking about how do we in Mexico strengthen our efforts, how do we collaborate at the border, and what does the United States need to do," he said. "Just as drugs move into the United States, so weapons, chemical precursors (like pseudoephedrine, used in the making of methamphetamine) and bulk cash move into Mexico."

Addressing American concerns over the porousness of the 2,000-mile border the two countries share, Sarukhan insisted that undocumented Mexican migrants do not threaten U.S. national security. But Mexico is working to reduce the risk that terrorists might use its soil to attack the United States, he said, screening containers for radioactive material at all Mexican ports and sharing intelligence on foreigners in Mexico from "countries of interest" to the United States.

"If there were to ever be a threat to the United States as a result of lapses with security on the border, the U.S. relationship with Mexico as we know it would be over," Sarukhan said.

In his conversation with The Chronicle, Sarukhan emphasized the importance of the U.S.-Mexico relationship to both countries and said Mexico's relations with California are at the forefront economically, as well as culturally. "We are California's fourth largest buyer of goods," he noted.

Before heading to Sacramento, Sarukhan made a two-day stopover in San Francisco, where he schmoozed with Bay Area leaders, from San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and former U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz to honchos from Google, the de Young Museum and the Bay Area Mexican American community. He plans a follow-up visit to Los Angeles and San Diego next month.

San Francisco is "a beacon for its relationship with its immigrant communities," Sarukhan said. "There are a number of incredibly global cities on the world stage and San Francisco is poised to be one of them. It's a melting pot of so many cultures, and that's a powerful statement these days in America."


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This article appeared on page A - 4 of the San Francisco Chronicle

© 2007 Hearst Communications Inc.

1 comment:

Paola said...

Este articulo es muy cierto porque señala que Mexico necesita nuevas o mejorar sus politica economicas, si pretende que la poblacion ya no emigre hacia los Estados Unidos. Se necesita pantear reformas que si contribuyan a elevar la infraestructura y la mejora de paga en Mexico, que las personas encuentren un buen trabajo aqui y ya no busquen irse para tener una entrada de dinero segura, sin saber lo que les puede costar irse a EUA.
Felipe Calderon necesita tener como prioridad el buscar como mejorar los empleos y su paga en Mexico para asi evitar la inmigraciona hacia EUA, porque el planteaba en su plan de trabajo eso como su mayor prioridad pero la verdad hasta ahora no se a visto ningun resultado.