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San Diego, Tijuana Mayors Reaffirm Regional Partnership

faulconer_tijuana.jpg
San Diego, Tijuana Mayors Reaffirm Regional Partnership
San Diego, Tijuana Mayors Reaffirm Regional Partnership
San Diego, Tijuana Mayors Reaffirm Regional Partnership GUEST:Steve Walsh, reporter, KPBS News

it was an ordinary meeting taking place in or extraordinary times, San Diego Mayor Mayor Kevin Faulconer and Tijuana Mayor Juan Manuel Gastelum, met yesterday to reaffirm the economic and cultural ties between the two cities him and him and of where and about the Trump administration or the border wall, but the meeting was clearly -- , but the meeting was clearly a counterpoint to the increasing hostility between Washington and Mexico City to get joining me is . Joining this reporter Steve Walsh. What was the atmosphere like a business conference yesterday, was it business as usual between the two mayors ? it was -- he was the person down between the Mayor talk her and Tijuana Mayor Juan Manuel Gastelum, who just took office December 1st,this spring your time, in some ways yes, so they did, you mentioned this is the intro, it is about touting the economic ties between the two communitiescommunities. So they talked about that did they say what did -- they said -- say about the economic links between San Diego and he won a -- Tijuana ? that they are very fake, -- they are sick and deep and light of rhetoric coming out of Washington border walls andterrorists against Mexican goods and it wasn't just the two mayors but several economic development -- but several economic development leaders that so along with the mayors and -- in several leaders, that Keokuk, the World Trade Center in San Diego, she played a game of -- month just amount of volume of international trade between the two countries . we know the border economist angered by -- economy angered by the busiest port of entry the -- has been a driver a tremendous economic growth, we know that a single component in an automobile or medical device may cross the border six, seven eight times with a value added that each step before it reaches the customer. Meaning 40% of what we import from Mexico every year is actually American-made in the first place. yesterday's press conferences to renew their memorandum of understanding between San Diego and Tijuana, what is the current memorandum of understanding . It was something signed last year with the former mayor of Tijuana basically allows for greater level of -- the greater level of cooperation between the two -- a little bit easier, makes a car -- next cooperation easier. The closest Mayor Faulkner came to addressing the actions was to say that he and -- TN Mayor Tijuana Mayor Juan Manuel Gastelum can't control what happens outside their cities but they reaffirm their collaboration and friendship, as -- a -- as this is -- estimates this message you think intended for Washington. This whole thing was geared to world tour -- toward Washington, did not want to overtly talk aboutTrump's policy, they did not want to talk about the hot rhetoric coming out of Washington but this is clearly designed to be a counterpoint to tell the benefits and behind the scenes talking about economic development leaders and folks around the Mayor, the idea here is that they want to be that shining example, make -- mail for near that Republican himself and other Republicans around the country might provide its original, look -- a certain up, look over five, the benefits of trade, by playing the call operation that's been happening here in San Diego for decades. When you look at this and look at some of the policies here and you talk about the level of cooperation between the two cities you have no hard time understanding on how you can even unwind a -- the cooperation even if they wanted to. similar meetings account of points have been held in othercause sport agents can you tell us about that ? this is similar to what's going on in San Diego, you get the meetings with the mayors in elk has a Texas, Brownsville, Texas and Matamoros in Mexico, Nogales, Mexico, no goal Nogales Arizona, all of them designed to give thing the same thing, how many jobs are giving -- getting -- being created in the other side of the boat border and how it impacts other side of the border, Mayor Faulconer talked about 110,000 jobs in San Diego just diets ask somebody to the border andTijuana. We will see if Washington is listening. I have been speaking with Steve, Walsh thank you so much.

The mayors of San Diego and Tijuana reaffirmed the partnership of the two border cities Monday in the face of U.S. President Donald Trump's immigration policies.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and Tijuana Mayor Juan Manuel Gastelum told reporters that they plan to renew a memorandum of understanding in the next few weeks spelling out how the two municipal governments will cooperate.

Department directors of the two cities meet frequently to hash out various issues, per the terms of the current MOU.

Neither mayor mentioned Trump or his policies specifically and didn't offer criticism. Yet the new president's demand for a wall between the U.S. and Mexico and criticism of the North American Free Trade Agreement — NAFTA — provided a backdrop for the event.

Faulconer said it's important that officials talk about what's working at the local level.

"We can't control what happens outside our cities, but I know this, we will continue our story of collaboration, our story of friendship, and we will continue working together for the prosperity of our people," Faulconer said.

Tijuana provides San Diego with access to trading partners "that other regions only dream about," and brings jobs and investment, Faulconer said.

The "mega-region" is home to the busiest border crossing in North America and the largest hub for medical device manufacturing in the world, he said.

Gastelum, who has been in office for two months, said the cities are separated by an international border, but "united by a common goal" to bring prosperity to their people and creating jobs on both sides of the border.

"For the last few years, Tijuana and San Diego have made great strides to work together," Gastelum said. "I look forward to continue this partnership (and keep) the line of communication open."

Jerry Sanders, president and CEO of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, said the mayors were making "an important statement," adding that the mission of economic cooperation between the two cities "has never been more important than it is today."

Sanders said the chamber will continue to be a strong advocate for cross- border commerce and policies that strengthen the region's global competitiveness.