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The Ambassador of Mexico to the United States visits Grand Rapids lobbying for USMCA ratification

Ambassador Martha Bárcena Coqui photo

The Ambassador of Mexico to the United States visited West Michigan Tuesday as a guest of the World Affairs Council of Western Michigan.

From the University Club in downtown Grand Rapids, Her Excellency Martha Barcena Coqui, the Ambassador of Mexico to the United State explained to room of nearly 100 business, educational and community leaders that Mexico is currently the United States’ number one trading partner. Trade between the two neighboring countries rose to more than $150 billion through the first three months of 2019. The ambassador cited that’s $1 million every minute. Disrupt it and millions of jobs would be impacted.

Ambassador Barcena wants Americans to better understand the importance of the North American Free Trade Agreement replacement known as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement that has yet to be ratified by the U.S. Congress.

“I think the challenge is to explain better all the benefits that USMCA has brought not only to Mexico, but to the U.S. and the competitiveness of the region. And I think the great opportunities to have USMCA ratified as soon as possible. To be able to strengthen all these global value chains and integrated value chains that we have in North America. And, of course, to the ratification of the USMCA will give us the opportunity to cement even more this trust that has been built in the last years and t continue to work together. Because as I said, ‘together we are better.’”

The ambassador’s concern is the growing number of asylum seekers impacting policy and the U.S.-Mexico border. Back in March, the White House threatened to shut down the border to discourage migrants from heading to the United States. Her Excellency says do that and North America’s auto industry would implode within five days.

She recommends the United States and Mexico invest in Central America – in particular Honduras and Guatemala – where economic opportunities are limited.

Patrick Center, WGVU News.

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.