USMCA Revisions Set Stage For Addressing Pollution At U.S.-Mexico Border

Border USA Mexico
A small fence separates densely populated Tijuana, Mexico, right, from the United States in the Border Patrol’s San Diego Sector. Construction is underway to extend a secondary fence over the top of this hill and eventually to the Pacific Ocean.

Agreement Heading to Congress Means ‘More Free Trade, Less Pollution’

Tuesday, December 10, 2019, San Diego – After years of calling for a reduction of border pollution and a modernized agreement that preserves free trade across North America, the San Diego region is poised to receive both with the announcement of key revisions to the United States-Mexico-Canada trade agreement (USMCA). The revisions were agreed upon and signed today by officials in Mexico City.

Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer, San Diego’s congressional delegation and regional leaders have made the case at home and abroad for bipartisan support of USMCA. Simultaneously, they have also continued to put pressure on federal governments in the U.S. and Mexico to take action on the cross-border sewage, sediment, and trash flowing into the U.S. from the Tijuana River Valley.

The USMCA – announced in 2018 – will replace the decades-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). In recent months, trade representatives have met to renegotiate some of the terms in the agreement, one of which, per a fact sheet released by the House Committee on Ways and Means today, includes provisions for environmental protections. It calls for “a new authorization of the North American Development Bank and funding for EPA grants under the Border Water Infrastructure Program to address pollution on the U.S.-Mexico border.”

With San Diego situated on the busiest border crossing in the Western Hemisphere, Mayor Faulconer has consistently pushed for opportunities to grow our cross-border economy in the Cali-Baja megaregion, including:

Serving on the United States Trade Representative’s Intergovernmental Policy Advisory Committee on Trade Agreements.

Co-authoring resolutions urging the modernization of NAFTA and the passage of the new USMCA agreements, including one that was signed at the first-ever North American Mayor’s Summit hosted by the Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affairs Marcelo Ebrard and attended by Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

Joining annual binational advocacy missions to Washington D.C. and Mexico City with the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Reestablished and co-chairs the U.S.-Mexico Border Mayors Association where he leads discussions among U.S.-Mexico border mayors on the importance of trade and cross-border environmental impacts for border cities.

Leading the Trilateral Alliance for Trade in the Americas at the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
Serving as one of the leading voices for the U.S. Border Trade Alliance.

The next step for the USMCA is approval by Congress.

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