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Top Trade Officials From US, Mexico And Canada Meet In San Diego

Top trade officials from the United States, Mexico and Canada met in San Diego today to discuss how to cooperate more effectively in an increasingly competitive global marketplace.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said President Obama wants to increase exports to stimulate jobs, and that job growth will benefit all three North American countries.

“Both Canada and Mexico are very interested in the President’s initiative to double U.S. exports over the next five years because a lot of the pieces in that American-made product are produced in Mexico or Canada,” Locke said.

Canada’s Tony Clement said his nation has set the same ambitious time lines to cut greenhouse gasses as the Obama administration. He said these days that no country, however powerful, can go it alone.

Mexico’s Secretary of the Economy Gerardo Ruiz said there’s an opportunity to increase overseas exports by combining the United States' investment ability and Mexico’s labor resources.

“Since 2000, North America has lost most than 30 percent of world exports,” Ruiz said. “Our trade has increased, but not at the rate of other regions. We cannot allow this situation to continue. It is crucial that academia, the private sector and governments of North America engage in a constructive dialogue for its future.”

Ruiz said delays at the U.S.-Mexico border remain a significant hurdle to trade cooperation.

San Diego Chamber of Commerce President Ruben Barrales said San Diego plays a key role in evolving international trade cooperation because of its position on the border, and with access to Pacific Rim countries.

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