CalChamber Partner in Governor’s Lunch for Mexico Secretary of Foreign Affairs

Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. gives a welcoming toast to honor Mexico Secretary of Foreign Affairs Luis Videgaray Caso at a luncheon held at the Governor’s Executive Mansion. Also at the table are (from left): CalChamber President/CEO Allan Zaremberg, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, First Lady Anne Gust Brown, and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra.

On Monday, September 11, Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. in partnership with the California Chamber of Commerce, held a luncheon for Mexico Secretary of Foreign Affairs Luis Videgaray Caso.

The foreign minister’s delegation included Mexico Undersecretary for North American Affairs Carlos Manuel Sada Solana and Secretary Videgaray’s senior adviser, Narciso Antonio Campos Cuevas. The new Consul General of the Mexican Consulate in Sacramento, Lilián Ferrer, was also in attendance, together with California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, and several members of the California Legislature, including Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon.

The message from the Foreign Affairs Minister was one of reinforcing the strong relationship between California and Mexico—with shared values and a shared future. The Minister also commented on the importance of the ongoing North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) negotiations—in particular for California and of course, Mexico.

The gathering was held at the Governor’s Executive Mansion and was an opportunity to meet with the new foreign minister, who was appointed at the beginning of 2017. The approximately 50 in attendance included key members of the Governor’s Cabinet and a small number of California business representatives, including 2017 CalChamber Chair Susan Corrales-Diaz, President and CEO Allan Zaremberg, Vice President of International Affairs Susanne T. Stirling, and CFO Larry Dicke. CalChamber Board members Donna Lucas of Lucas Public Affairs and Fred Ruiz of Ruiz Foods also attended. The luncheon was successful with all in attendance continuing to promote good relations between California and Mexico.

Trade/Tourism Statistics

CalChamber CEO Allan Zaremberg (left) speaks with Mexico Secretary of Foreign Affairs Luis Videgaray Caso and Lilian Ferrer, Mexico consul general in Sacramento.

Mexico continues to be California’s No. 1 export market, purchasing 15.4% of all California exports. California exports to Mexico amounted to $25.3 billion in 2016. Computers and electronic products remained California’s largest exports, accounting for 21.7% of all California exports to Mexico. Exports of transportation equipment and machinery from California to Mexico grew to total more than $5 billion.


Also in 2016, California imported $46.35 billion in goods from Mexico, a $5 billion increase from 2014. The top import categories were transportation equipment, computer and electronic products, agricultural products, and manufactured commodities. California is the second largest importing state for goods from Mexico.

According to a December 2016 report by Visit California, nearly 7.8 million people visited California from Mexico in 2015, spending more than $3 billion. Mexico sends more visitors to California than any other country by a wide margin.

NAFTA Update

A separate, yet related event was held on Friday, September 8, when the CalChamber Council for International Trade hosted a talk by international strategist Michael C. Camuñez, president and CEO of Monarch Global Strategies. See story.

Staff Contact: Susanne T. Stirling

Susanne T. Stirling
Susanne T. Stirling, senior vice president, international affairs, has headed CalChamber international activities for more than four decades. She is an appointee of the U.S. Secretary of Commerce to the National Export Council, and serves on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce International Policy Committee, the California International Relations Foundation, and the Chile-California Council. Originally from Denmark, she studied at the University of Copenhagen and holds a B.A. in international relations from the University of the Pacific, where she served as a regent from 2012 to 2021. She earned an M.A. from the School of International Relations at the University of Southern California. See full bio.