Trading Partner Portal: Mexico
Mexico, the United States’ southern neighbor and second largest bilateral trading partner, has a population of 129.2 million and a GDP of over $1.15 trillion as of 2017. Mexico’s GDP per capita is $8,900. Mexico currently has an unemployment rate of 3.4% and an inflation rate of 6.7%. It is the 15th largest economy in the world, with around 80% of it’s population in urban areas and 45% of its population under the age of 25. Over $33.7 billion in remittances flowed into Mexico in 2018. Mexico is ranked #46 in world competitiveness by the World Economic Forum and 138/180 for perceptions of corruption.
In 2018, Mexico had a presidential election, electing a new party under Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.
In the last 20 years, two-way trade in goods between Mexico and the United States increased dramatically from $81.4 billion in 1993 to $611.5 billion in 2018. Mexico has remained the United States’ second largest export market since 1995, with a total value of $265 billion in 2018. Mexico is the first or second largest trading partner for 27 American states. Top export categories from the U.S. to Mexico included computer and electronic products, transportation equipment, petroleum and coal products, and chemicals. $1.7 billion a day in two-way trade of goods and services crosses the border. There are over 50,000 small and medium sized enterprises in the U.S. that export to Mexico.
For the first six months of 2019, amid trade tensions with China causing imports from China to decrease by 12 percent and exports to China to decrease by 19 percent, Mexico supplanted China as the top trading partner of the U.S. (Freight Waves, August, 2019)
Mexico continues to be California’s No. 1 export market, purchasing 17 percent of all California exports. California exports to Mexico amounted to $30.7 billion in 2018, an increase from 2017. Computers and electronic products remained California’s largest exports, accounting for 25.8 percent of all California exports to Mexico. Exports of transportation equipment and non-electrical machinery from California to Mexico grew to total almost $6 billion.
Also in 2018, California imported $44 billion in goods from Mexico. The top import categories were transportation equipment, computer and electronic products, agricultural products, and miscellaneous manufactured goods. California is the third largest importing state for goods from Mexico.
According to Visit California, nearly 7.7 million people visited California from Mexico in 2017, spending over $3.1 billion. Mexico sends more visitors to California than any other country by a wide margin. Approximately 550,000 traveled by air.
Foreign Direct Investment
U.S. foreign direct investment (FDI) into Mexico totaled $109.6 billion in 2017 and Mexican FDI into the US totaled $18 billion in the same year. Mexican FDI into the U.S. supported 79,99 jobs and invested $1.1 billion into expanding US exports. The top industry sectors for Mexican FDI in the U.S. were: food and tobacco, communications, plastics, metals, business services, and auto components. Select USA
Mexico climbed four spots to become the No. 12 destination in the world for FDI in 2017, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. Foreign investment to Mexico reached $29.7 billion, despite uncertainty about the renegotiation of NAFTA. Investment in the automotive industry grew 32% to $7 billion. (June 2018 Milenio)
In Southern California, the No. 14 country for FDI through foreign-owned enterprises (FOEs) is Mexico. Mexican FOEs in Southern California provide more than 6,500 jobs through over 250 firms. This amounts to $412 million in wages. The top sectors of Mexican FOEs are financial activities, professional and business services, wholesale trade, retail trade, and manufacturing. (LA Business Journal, V. 40 No. 21, 2018)
Mexico is Open for Business, Briefing for CA Economic Development Offices
U.S. Commercial Service, August 2019
Government of Mexico Response to USDOC and USTR Request for Comments on Significant Trade Deficits
Kenneth Smith Ramos, Minister – Trade and NAFTA Office
Embassy of Mexico, May 2017
California and Mexico Economic Integration and Outlook
Senator Marcela Guerra, Nuevo León, Mexico
PowerPoint Presentation for Consulate General of Mexico in Sacramento, February 15, 2017
Fifth California-Mexico Advocacy Day: “Challenges and Opportunities 20 years from NAFTA”
Consulate General of Mexico in Sacramento, May 6, 2014
A tale of two Mexicos: Growth and prosperity in a two-speed economy
Jaana Remes, PhD, McKinsey Global Institute
PowerPoint Presentation for CalChamber, May 6, 2014
Adjusting to a Post-NAFTA Mexico: What It Means for California
J. Edward Taylor, PhD, UC Davis
PowerPoint Presentation for CalChamber, May 6, 2014
Adjusting to a Post-NAFTA Mexico: What It Means for California
J. Edward Taylorand Diane Charlton, UC Davis
Hearing of the Senate Select Committee on CA-Mexico Cooperation, State Capitol, May 5, 2014
Estimated Volume and Spending of Visitors from Mexico to California
Visit California, 2013
2012 Policy Recommendations for U.S.-Mexico Relations
Taking advantage of the once-every-twelve-year phenomenon of simultaneous presidential elections in the United States and Mexico, a binational group of top opinion leaders and policymakers were convened by the Wilson Center and The Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands to craft a new agenda for U.S.-Mexico relations.
CalChamber Reiterates Support for U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement
CalChamber, May 14, 2019
U.S., Mexico, Canada Sign New Trade Agreement
CalChamber, December 3, 2018
On November 30, President Donald J. Trump, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau signed the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). President Trump called the new USMCA the “most modern, up-to-date, and balanced trade agreement in the history of our country.”
At the signing, at the G20 meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina, President Trump personally thanked outgoing Mexican President Peña Nieto, who then concluded the ceremony celebrating the close relationship between Mexico, Canada, and the United States, saying, “We’re ready to begin a new chapter in our shared history.”
The CalChamber actively supported the creation of the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) among the United States, Canada and Mexico, comprising 480 million people with combined annual U.S. trade in goods of over $1.1 trillion.
The new program is reciprocal and mutually beneficial and was established between Mexico and the United States under a Memorandum of Understanding signed on July 6th, 2011. Issuance of operating authority to Transportes Olympic is a positive step taken by the United States to come into full compliance with its commitments on long haul cross-border trucking services under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
Camp, Brady Statements on Lifting of Mexico’s Retaliatory Tariffs
U.S. House Ways and Means Committee, October 21, 2011
Mexico and the US Sign a Memorandum of Understanding on Long-Haul Cross-Border Motor Carrier Services
Mexican Embassy, July 6, 2011
Alliance Applauds U.S.-Mexico Trucking Deal
Alliance to Keep U.S. Jobs, July 6, 2011
U.S. Chamber Hails Agreement Resolving Cross-Border Trucking Dispute, Slashing Retaliatory Tariffs
U.S. Chamber of Commerce, July 6, 2011
CalChamber Backs Pilot Program to Settle Cross-Border Trucking Dispute with Mexico
Alert, May 6, 2011
Camp, Brady Statements on U.S.-Mexico Trucking Dispute
House Ways and Means Committee, March 3, 2011
U.S. – Mexico High-Level Regulatory Cooperation Council and Work Plan 2/2012
President Felipe Calderón and President Barack Obama instructed the creation of a Mexico – US High Level Regulatory Cooperation Council (HLRCC) in order to facilitate regulatory compliance, reduce transaction costs, and promote trade and investment between the two countries.
The HLRCC released its Work Plan on February 28, 2012, which represents an additional step to implement its objectives and increase regulatory cooperation between Mexico and the United States.
The main objectives of the HLRCC are:
- Making regulations more compatible, increasing simplification, and reducing burdens without compromising public health, public safety, environmental protection, or national security;
- Increasing regulatory transparency to build national regulatory frameworks designed to achieve higher levels of competitiveness and to promote development;
- Simplifying regulatory requirements through public involvement;
- Improving and simplifying regulation by strengthening the analytic basis of regulations;
- Linking harmonization and regulatory simplification to improvements in border-crossing and custom procedures; ;
- Increasing technical cooperation
2014 Governor’s Mexico Trade Mission
- Day 1: Arrival and Reception: Sunday, July 27, 2014
- Day 2: Trade, Investment, Climate and MOU: Monday, July 28, 2014
- Day 3: Education MOU and Business-to-Business Meetings: Tuesday, July 29, 2014
- Day 4: Trade and Investment Breakfast: Wednesday, July 30, 2014
- Return Visit of Mexico’s President to CA, August 2014
California Governor to Lead Trade and Investment Mission to Mexico Next Week
Governor’s Office, July 23, 2014
Governor Brown to Lead Trade and Investment Mission to Mexico
Governor’s Office, April 29, 2014
2006 Trade Mission
California Chamber of Commerce President Allan Zaremberg returned from Mexico, where he accompanied Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and a delegation of California leaders on a two-day mission to strengthen ties and increase economic opportunities in Mexico.
“The mission provided an excellent forum for the Governor to promote business investments in California and encourage tourism from Mexico to California destinations,” said CalChamber President Allan Zaremberg. “As California’s top export market Mexico has a big impact on our economy. The nearly $18 billion in California products exported to Mexico in 2005 supported nearly 200,000 jobs in California. Strengthening ties between California and Mexico is good for both nations.”
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CalChamber Luncheon Highlights Challenges, Opportunities of Mexico-California Relationship
(May 8, 2019) The Consulate General of México, Sacramento, represented by Ambassador Liliana Ferrer, joined CalChamber in presenting the May 7 forum, attended by 100 guests. CalChamber President and CEO Allan Zaremberg introduced the panelists (pictured in respective order) providing the concise briefing:
- Dr. Pamela Starr, director of the U.S.-Mexico Network, University of Southern California, and senior advisor to Monarch Global Strategies. She spoke about the bilateral relationship with Mexico.
- Dr. Andrew Selee, president of the Migration Policy Institute, who spoke about economic interdependence and the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
- Dr. Rafael Fernández de Castro, director of the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, University of California, San Diego. He spoke about migration and border development.
Read more at the top story.
California-Mexico Partnership Luncheon Features Innovations in Energy, Education
(May 4, 2018) Energy projects that are helping foster innovations in California and Mexico were highlighted this week at an international luncheon forum co-hosted by the California Chamber of Commerce and the Consulate General of México of Sacramento for nearly 100 guests. Top Story & Videos
The luncheon was part of the Ninth Annual California Mexico Advocacy Day, which works to increase the relevance of Mexico’s relationship with the United States and the State of California.
Serving as moderator for the session was Dr. Hermann Tribukait, representative of Sener-Conacyt Funds for Energy Innovation in North America.
The featured panelists were:
- Dr. Michael Siminovitch, director, California Lighting Technology Center at the University of California, Davis;
- Dr. Mauricio Alcocer Ruthling, director of the Center for Sustainability and Renewable Energy at the Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara; and
- Dr. Luis Serra, executive director, Energy Initiative at Tecnológico de Monterrey.
Multiple Mexico-California Connections in Spotlight at Luncheon
(May 3, 2017) The many ways in which California and Mexico gain economic strength from their trade and investment connections were highlighted at an international trade luncheon yesterday. About 100 guests attended the luncheon co-hosted by the California Chamber of Commerce, Consulate General of Mexico in Sacramento and Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz).
The luncheon was part of the Eighth Annual California Mexico Advocacy Day, intended to increase the relevance of Mexico’s relationship with the United States and California.
The speakers were Francisco Tovar, with Economic Affairs at the Mexico Embassy in Washington, D.C.; Benjamin De Alba, assistant secretary for rail and ports at the California State Transportation Agency; and Marcelo Sada, CEO of Source Logistics. CalChamber President and CEO Allan Zaremberg served as luncheon moderator.
North America Trade Policy: Opportunities Abound with California Neighbors
(March 8, 2017) CalChamber President and CEO Allan Zaremberg served as moderator of the gathering with more than 100 luncheon attendees. Speakers included: Brandon A. Lee, consul general of Canada; Pedro Noyola, Ph.D., former undersecretary of trade and foreign investment and undersecretary of finance of Mexico, and representative of Mexico in various trade negotiations; and Andrew Grant, president and CEO, Northern California World Trade Center.
The objectives of the CalChamber-supported NAFTA are to eliminate barriers to trade, promote conditions of fair competition, increase investment opportunities, provide adequate protection of intellectual property rights, establish effective procedures for implementing and applying the agreements and resolving disputes, and to further trilateral, regional and multilateral cooperation.
Dr. Pedro Noyola explained to the attendees that NAFTA faces logical and strategic difficulties that need to be addressed.
First and foremost, the means that is used to examine NAFTA’s performance must be examined correctly, he explained.
Although a country’s trade balance has been equated to a company’s income statement, those are “two completely different things,” Dr. Noyola said. “Trying to interpret a trade balance as you would the income statement of a company can lead to really serious problems.”
CalChamber Participates in Mexico’s Senate Delegation Visit
(February 28, 2017) The California Chamber of Commerce recently participated in meetings with a small visiting delegation of senators from Mexico, all members of the Foreign Affairs Committee – North America. CalChamber Vice President Susanne Stirling attended a Roundtable discussion held at the Consulate General of Mexico in Sacramento on Wednesday, February 15. The meeting included a presentation by Jose Blanco, Principal of the Central Valley Fund, outlining U.S.-Hispanic Trends and the economic integration between California and Mexico. Top Story
CalChamber Luncheon Highlights Mexico’s Energy Reform, Investment Opportunities
(May 3, 2016) Mexico’s Energy Reform and Investment Opportunities were the topic of discussion yesterday at a California Chamber of Commerce International Luncheon Forum with nearly 100 attending, part of the VII California-Mexico Advocacy Day organized by the office of Ambassador Alejandra Garcia Williams, Mexico’s Consul General in Sacramento. Top Story
The event featured presentations by:
Mtro. Leonardo Beltrán Rodríguez, Deputy Secretary for Energy Planning and Transition
Ministry of Energy / Secretaría de Energía, SENER
Ing. Marcos Valenzuela Ortiz, Director of Market Administration for the National Center of Energy Control / Centro Nacional de Control de Energia
Blair Swezey, Senior Director, U.S. Market Development and State Policy, SunPower
CalChamber, Mexican Consulate Share Strategies to Improve Relations
Strategies to improve the close relationship between Mexico and California were the focus when California Chamber of Commerce representatives met recently with the new Consul General of Mexico.
Mexico Consul General Alejandra Garcia-Williams and Consul of Political Affairs Yúriko L. Garcés Lee met on January 21 with CalChamber President and CEO Allan Zaremberg and Vice President of International Affairs Susanne Stirling.
CalChamber Luncheon Spotlights Trade/Investment Opportunities in Mexico, California
(May 6, 2015) Trade and investment opportunities in Mexico and California were the topic of discussion at the CalChamber International Luncheon Forum as part of the VI California-Mexico Advocacy Day organized by Mexico’s Consulate General under the leadership of Gilberto Luna, acting consul general.
Return Visit of Mexico’s President to CA
(August 27, 2014) On the last day of his first trip to the United States as president of Mexico, President Enrique Peña Nieto visited the state capital, where he attended a luncheon and met privately with Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. and other elected officials.
The luncheon and meetings build upon Governor Brown’s trade mission to Mexico last month. During his trip, Governor Brown met privately with President Peña and signed several memorandums of understanding on trade, education and climate change with Mexican officials. Top Story.
North American Trade Pact: Opportunities for Improvement 20 Years Later
(May 6, 2014) Twenty years after the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) entered into force, trade among the United States, Canada and Mexico has increased and opportunities for improvement remain, a panel of experts told attendees at a California Chamber of Commerce International Luncheon Forum yesterday cosponsored with the Consulate General of Mexico in Sacramento. Speakers included: Duncan Wood, PhD, Director for the Mexico Institute for the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars; Jaana Remes, PhD, Partner at McKinsey Global Institute; and J. Edward Taylor, PhD, UC Davis Professor.Top Story
Ambassador Highlights Importance of Strong Trade with Mexico
(March 30, 2012) U.S. Ambassador to Mexico E. Anthony Wayne discusses the importance of a strong trade relationship with Mexico at the California Chamber of Commerce International Breakfast forum.
Delegation from Sinaloa, Mexico
(November 7, 2011) A delegation from Sinaloa, Mexico met with Susanne Stirling at the CalChamber offices in Sacramento. With an opportunity to explore economic alliances between California and Sinaloa, Mexico, the meeting was to discuss the possibility of a trade mission from Sinaloa to California in 2012. For further information, please see: www.codesin.org.mx
The State of Sinaloa in northwest Mexico, offers a wide range of business opportunities. With a privileged location, diversity of climate and beautiful scenery, the state is an ideal destination for investment in multiple industries such as food, tourism, information technology, trade and logistics, as well as emerging industries such as biotechnology, clean energy . It is one of the states of Mexico with the best conditions for doing business, combining the support of government and the private sector, organized into institutions that promote investment and exports. In addition to its abundant natural resources, Sinaloa has a population dynamic and entrepreneurial, which is fundamental to the competitiveness of the state.
CalChamber Hosts Governor of Baja California
(October 20, 2009) Larry Dicke (left), CalChamber Executive Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer, presents a gift bag to José Guadalupe Osuna Millán, Governor of Baja California.
Governor Osuna highlighted areas of opportunity in Baja including new infrastructure, binational border crossings, strategic projects and renewable energies.
Ambassador to Mexico Urges Building on Success of NAFTA
(September 12, 2007) Among attendees are (from left) Roger J. Baccigaluppi, RB International; California Secretary of Food and Agriculture A.G. Kawamura; California Secretary of State and Consumer Services Rosario Marin; California Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi; and CalChamber President Allan Zaremberg.
CalChamber Hosts Governor of Sonora, Mexico
(August 17, 2015) The Honorable Eduardo Bours Castelo, Governor of Sonora, Mexico, meets with (from left) CalChamber President Allan Zaremberg and former CalChamber Chair Roger Baccigaluppi, CalChamber Board Member, and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, RB International. He was also greeted by California government officials and businesspeople from California and Mexico.
CalChamber Hosts Vicente Fox, President of Mexico
(May 26, 2006) California Chamber President Allan Zaremberg (left) and Mexico President Vicente Fox listen to comments from the audience during a question-and-answer session with Fox at an international trade breakfast today hosted by the California Chamber of Commerce and the Sacramento Hispanic Chamber of Commerce for companies doing business with Mexico. President Fox’s talk at the California Chamber’s offices was part of a four-day visit to the United States with stops in Salt Lake City, Utah; Seattle, Washington; Sacramento and Los Angeles.
The more than 100 guests who greeted President Fox included a delegation of officials from Mexico, representatives of California’s state government and business people from California and Mexico, including representatives of agriculture, the service industry and manufacturing.
Key Country Contacts
- Mexican Chambers in California
- Mexican Consular Contacts
- Select Committee on California-Mexico Cooperation
- HRCalifornia’s selection of forms and checklists in Spanish
- International Trade FAQs
- U.S. Commercial Service Mexico
- American Chamber of Commerce in Mexico
- ProMéxico San Francisco
- ProMéxico Los Angeles
- Maquila Portal
- Mexican Foreign Trade Council/ COMCE
- Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- Mexican Ministry of Tourism
- Mexican Presidential Office
- State Government of Baja, California
- Sister State – Baja California (Norte), Mexico
- Sister State – Baja California (Sur), Mexico
- Sister State – Jalisco, Mexico
- Sister State – Nayarit, Mexico
- Sister State – Queretaro, Mexico
- International Universities/Programs
- Matlac: Innovation and Education
- Steps to College 2016
- Over 60 California cities have sister cities in Mexico. See Sister Cities International.
- 100,000 Strong in the Americas