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Texas Border and Mexican Affairs

XVIII BORDER GOVERNORS CONFERENCE
UNITED STATES-MEXICO


JOINT DECLARATION
June 1-2, 2000
Sacramento, California

PREAMBLE


THE GOVERNORS OF THE STATES OF ARIZONA, CALIFORNIA, NEW MEXICO AND TEXAS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND THE STATES OF BAJA CALIFORNIA, CHIHUAHUA, COAHUILA, NUEVO LEON, SONORA AND TAMAULIPAS OF THE UNITED MEXICAN STATES, MEETING IN THE CITY OF SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA ON JUNE 1-2, 2000, HAVING ANALYZED, IN THE FRAMEWORK OF THE XVIII CONFERENCE OF UNITED STATES-MEXICO BORDER GOVERNORS, THE TOPICS RELATING TO AGRICULTURE, BORDER CROSSINGS, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, EDUCATION, ENVIRONMENT, TOURISM AND

WHEREAS

THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND THE UNITED MEXICAN STATES ARE TWO SOVEREIGN AND INDEPENDENT NATIONS, EACH WITH ITS OWN CLEAR IDENTITY, SHARING MORE THAN TWO THOUSAND MILES OF COMMON BORDER, THUS CONSTITUTING ONE OF THE MOST DYNAMIC REGIONS OF THE WORLD;

THIS BORDER, SERVING AS A MODEL OF BINATIONAL INTEGRATION, AND OFFERING GREAT CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES, IS A PLACE THAT UNITES TWO CULTURES AND GLOBAL VISIONS, WHERE A PHILOSOPHY OF BOUNDARIES BECOMES THE IMPETUS FOR COOPERATION AND ACCOMPLISHMENT;

THIS VISION, ENHANCED BY OUR CLOSE PROXIMITY, HAS ALLOWED US TO VIEW THE BORDER FROM A TRANSBORDER REGIONAL PERSPECTIVE, THEREBY ENABLING THE PURSUIT OF NEW OPPORTUNITIES;

THE TEN STATES COMPRISING THE UNITED STATES-MEXICO BORDER REGION POSSESS A SERIES OF INHERENT COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGES AND ECONOMIC SYNERGIES THAT ENABLE JOINT ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, THEREBY INCREASING TRADE AND FOSTERING REGIONAL INTEGRATION;

TO EFFECTIVELY INCREASE TRADE AND STRENGTHEN COMMERCIAL EXCHANGE ALONG THE BORDER, BOTH NATIONS MUST INVEST IN MODERN AND EFFICIENT INFRASTRUCTURE AT THEIR PORTS OF ENTRY, THUS ENABLING THE SPIRIT OF THE NORTH AMERICAN FREE TRADE AGREEMENT (NAFTA) TO REACH ITS FULL POTENTIAL AND POSITIVELY IMPACT THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE REGION;

TO CAPITALIZE ON INTEGRATED REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT EFFORTS, IT IS ESSENTIAL THAT THE EXCHANGE OF GOODS, SERVICES, AND THE LEGAL TRANSIT OF PEOPLE BE CONDUCTED IN A TIMELY AND EFFICIENT MANNER, WITH RESPECT FOR HUMAN DIGNITY, TO PROMOTE TRADE AND TOURISM WHILE PROJECTING A POSITIVE IMAGE OF OUR BORDER;

THE BORDER STATES, IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND PRIVATE SECTOR, ACKNOWLEDGE AND SHARE THE RESPONSIBILITY OF PROTECTING THE ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES OF THE BORDER BY IMPLEMENTING PROGRAMS AIMED AT PRESERVING THE WEALTH OF NATURAL RESOURCES IN THE REGION;

THE BORDER STATES UNITE IN THE DESIRE TO STRENGTHEN BILATERAL COOPERATION IN ORDER TO ADDRESS THE EFFECTS OF NATURAL DISASTERS IN OUR REGION, PARTICULARLY BY WORKING TOGETHER TO COMBAT FOREST FIRES AND REDUCE THE NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF DROUGHT AND FLOODING OCCURRING ON BOTH SIDES OF THE BORDER;

THE JOINT EFFORTS OF THE BORDER STATES TO IMPLEMENT PROGRAMS SUPPORTING HEALTH INITIATIVES ARE THE RESULT OF COORDINATION, SHARED RESPONSIBILITY, AND SENSITIVITY TO THE HEALTH AND WELL-BEING OF THE INHABITANTS OF THE REGION;

THE FREQUENT WORK MEETINGS HELD BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENTS OF THE BORDER STATES HAVE MADE IT POSSIBLE TO ESTABLISH A MECHANISM FOR ONGOING DIALOGUE AND CONSULTATION IN ORDER TO ADDRESS DIVERSE AND COMPLEX BORDER ISSUES;

MEETINGS OF THIS NATURE HAVE MADE IT POSSIBLE TO ESTABLISH A CLOSE WORKING RELATIONSHIP AMONG THE GOVERNORS OF THE BORDER STATES, ALLOWING THEM TO OPENLY DISCUSS THE MAIN TOPICS THAT CONSTITUTE THE WORK TABLES INCLUDED IN THE XVIII BORDER GOVERNORS CONFERENCE;

THIS UNDERSTANDING AMONG THE GOVERNORS OF THE BORDER STATES HAS CONTRIBUTED TO STRENGTHENING THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND MEXICO, AND

WHEREAS, WE THE BORDER GOVERNORS IN THE SPIRIT OF COOPERATION AND RESPECT FOR THE SOVEREIGN RIGHTS OF EACH INDIVIDUAL COUNTRY DISCUSSED THE UNFORTUNATE INCIDENTS TAKING PLACE ON BOTH SIDES OF THE BORDER AND AGREED TO IMPROVE COORDINATION AMONG THE APPROPRIATE AUTHORITIES OF THE THREE LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT OF BOTH COUNTRIES.

WE, THE GOVERNORS, ENDORSING THIS JOINT DECLARATION, HEREBY ADOPT THE FOLLOWING TOPICS OF SIGNIFICANT IMPORTANCE TO THE BORDER REGION:

BORDER CROSSINGS

  1. REQUEST THAT BOTH FEDERAL GOVERNMENTS TAKE IMMEDIATE ACTION TO IMPLEMENT THE ORIGINAL TRUCKING REGULATION PROVISIONS, INCLUDING PHASING, OF NAFTA WHICH ALLOW FOR BOTH U.S. AND MEXICAN TRANSPORTATION COMPANIES TO OPERATE FREELY WITHIN THE LIMITS OF THE BORDER STATES.
  2. REQUEST THAT BOTH PRESIDENTS IMMEDIATELY DIRECT THEIR RESPECTIVE INSPECTION AGENCIES TO DEVELOP AND IMPLEMENT WITHIN THE NEXT 12 MONTHS A "SINGLE STANDARD FORM" USING ADVANCED TECHNOLOGIES FOR REQUIRED INTERNATIONAL BORDER CROSSING DOCUMENTATION UTILIZED BY TRANSPORTERS, IMPORTERS AND EXPORTERS OF BOTH COUNTRIES.
  3. ENCOURAGE THE CITIES AND REGIONAL PLANNING ORGANIZATIONS ALONG THE U.S.-MEXICO BORDER TO DEVELOP BINATIONAL INTEGRATED URBAN LAND USE PLANS PRIOR TO REQUESTING PERMITS FOR NEW INTERNATIONAL BORDER CROSSINGS.
  4. REQUEST THAT FEDERAL AGENCIES INVOLVED IN BORDER ACTIVITIES DESIGNATE A SENIOR OFFICIAL TO WORK WITH STATE OFFICIALS ON BORDER ISSUES.
  5. OPPOSE ANY FEDERALLY MANDATED BORDER CROSSING FEES THAT NEGATIVELY AFFECT THE ECONOMY OF THE BORDER.
  6. OPPOSE ANY EXIT CONTROL SYSTEM AT BORDER PORTS OF ENTRY THAT NEGATIVELY IMPACTS TRADE, TOURISM OR OTHER LEGITIMATE CROSS-BORDER TRAFFIC, AND RECOMMEND THAT SECTION 110 BE AMENDED IN FAVOR OF A MORE TRADE-EFFICIENT AND BORDER-FRIENDLY ALTERNATIVE.
  7. CONTINUE TO SUPPORT THE EXPANSION AND SIMPLIFICATION OF THE CURRENT H-2 PROGRAMS FOR TEMPORARY WORKERS IN THE U.S., IN ORDER TO SATISFY THE DEMAND FOR LABOR IN THE AGRICULTURE AND SERVICE INDUSTRIES.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

  1. EXPAND AND PROMOTE THE BORDER STATES’ ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT WEB PAGE, WHICH OFFERS INFORMATION ABOUT INDUSTRIAL CLUSTERS, DIRECTORIES OF THE PRINCIPAL COMPANIES IN THE REGION, AS WELL AS A CALENDAR OF THE MOST IMPORTANT LOCAL, REGIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL TRADE SHOWS.
  2. PROMOTE THE PARTICIPATION OF ENTREPRENEURS TO THE REGION’S MOST IMPORTANT TRADE SHOWS WHICH HAVE BEEN IDENTIFIED BASED ON THE STRENGTHS AND CHARACTERISTICS OF EACH STATE OR SUB-REGION, THUS CONTRIBUTING TO A MORE EFFECTIVE REGIONAL INTEGRATION.
  3. ORGANIZE MULTI-STATE PARTICIPATION IN COMMERCIAL MISSIONS AND INTERNATIONAL TRADE SHOWS TO STRENGTHEN THE REGION’S SUPPLIER CHAINS (SOURCING) BY TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THE OPPORTUNITIES PROVIDED BY NAFTA AS WELL AS THE DIFFERENT COMMERCIAL TREATIES ENTERED INTO TO BY MEXICO.
  4. ORGANIZE SEMINARS THROUGH EACH STATE TRADE AND COMMERCE AGENCY, TARGETED AT REGIONAL SUPPLIERS TO DISSEMINATE THE ADVANTAGES OF THE APPLICATION OF THE "RULE OF ORIGIN," WHICH WILL FAVOR THE SOURCING OF GOODS WITHIN THE NAFTA REGION.

TOURISM

  1. INCLUDE WITHIN THE ANNUAL OPERATIONAL PROGRAMS OF THE STATE TOURISM OFFICES, AS WELL AS WITHIN NATIONAL TOURISM PROGRAMS, PROMOTION OF BORDER CULTURAL HERITAGE, HISTORIC CORRIDORS AND ECOTOURISM, TAKING ADVANTAGE THE NATURAL SCENIC DIVERSITY IN THE BORDER REGION.
  2. JOINTLY DEVELOP EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS THAT INFORM AND ASSIST POTENTIAL TRAVELERS TO THE BORDER REGION REGARDING RULES AND LAWS ABOUT TRANSPORTING VEHICLES AND FIREARMS, INSURANCE COVERAGE AND IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS PROCEDURES.
  3. OPPOSE NEW MEASURES RELATING TO MIGRATION AND FISCAL MATTERS THAT NEGATIVELY IMPACT THE TRANSIT OF PEOPLE, TOURISM AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, ENCOURAGING MODIFICATIONS TO PRE-EXISTING MEASURES TO FACILITATE BORDER CROSSINGS.
  4. JOINTLY WORK TO DESIGN AND IMPLEMENT A MECHANISM TO CONSISTENTLY AND ACCURATELY COLLECT INFORMATION REGARDING THE VOLUME OF CROSS-BORDER TRAVEL AND TRAVELERS, TO GAIN COMPARABLE DATA TO MEASURE THE IMPORTANCE OF BORDER TOURISM.

AGRICULTURE

  1. REQUEST THAT THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS EXPAND AND SIMPLIFY THE CURRENT H2A UNSKILLED LABOR VISA PROGRAM, WHICH ALLOWS AGRICULTURAL LABORERS TO WORK FOR A TEMPORARY PERIOD IN THE UNITED STATES, IN ORDER TO MEET THE EXISTING LABOR SHORTAGE IN THE AGRICULTURAL INDUSTRY.
  2. REQUEST THAT THE FEDERAL AND STATE INSPECTION AGENCIES AT THE PORTS OF ENTRY ALONG THE U.S.-MEXICO BORDER WORK TO HARMONIZE AND MAINTAIN A CONSISTENT INSPECTION PROCESS, IDENTIFYING DISCREPANCIES IN CURRENT PROCEDURES AND PROMOTING OUTREACH, IN ORDER TO FACILITATE A SMOOTH INTERCHANGE OF BI-NATIONAL AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS.
  3. PROMOTE PLANT AND ANIMAL HEALTH, PHYTOSANITARY/SANITARY AND FOOD SAFETY PRACTICES, AS WELL AS QUALITY ASSURANCE MEASURES THAT ENSURE THE WELL-BEING OF CONSUMERS IN BOTH COUNTRIES, BY ENCOURAGING STATE AGRICULTURAL AGENCIES TO ENHANCE COOPERATION IN THEIR COLLECTIVE EDUCATIONAL OUTREACH AND INFORMATION DISSEMINATION TO PRIVATE INDUSTRY.
  4. ENCOURAGE THE CONTINUED DEVELOPMENT OF BI-NATIONAL SCIENTIFIC AND ACADEMIC EXCHANGE PROGRAMS INTENDED TO ADDRESS RAPIDLY CHANGING ENVIRONMENT AND CROSS-BORDER MARKETING NEEDS OF AGRICULTURAL PRODUCERS IN BOTH COUNTRIES.

ENVIRONMENT

  1. REQUEST THAT THE CONGRESS AND THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES RESTORE THE BUDGET FOR THE BORDER ENVIRONMENTAL INFRASTRUCTURE FUND (BEIF) TO AT LEAST $100 MILLION PER YEAR, AS PROJECTED BY THE NORTH AMERICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK’S (NADBANK) TEN-YEAR NEEDS ASSESSMENT, IN ORDER TO ADDRESS THE SUBSTANTIAL DEFICIENCIES IN THE BORDER REGION AND RECOGNIZING THE PROGRESS ACHIEVED WITH THESE FUNDS IN PREVIOUS YEARS.
  2. REQUEST THAT THE UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (USEPA) EXPAND THE SCOPE OF THE BORDER ENVIRONMENTAL INFRASTRUCTURE FUND (BEIF) FROM WATER AND WASTEWATER, TO INCLUDE FUNDING FOR MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE PROJECTS.
  3. REQUEST THAT BOTH FEDERAL GOVERNMENTS EXPLORE ESTABLISHING MECHANISMS TO REDIRECT EXISTING REVENUES GENERATED LOCALLY TO SUPPORT BORDER ENVIRONMENTAL PROGRAMS, RECOGNIZING THAT BOTH NATIONS HAVE BENEFITED FROM INCREASED ECONOMIC ACTIVITY IN THE BORDER REGION AND THAT THE RESULTING ENVIRONMENTAL CHALLENGES REQUIRE ADDITIONAL FUNDING.
  4. REQUEST THAT BOTH FEDERAL GOVERNMENTS INFORM RESPECTIVE STATES IN WRITING ABOUT PROPOSED PROJECTS WITH POTENTIAL TRANSBOUNDARY ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT, AND ACT IMMEDIATELY FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF AN INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENT, RECOGNIZING THAT THE BORDER STATES WILL COORDINATE AND NOTIFY ALL AFFECTED STATES.
  5. PROTECT SHARED WATER RESOURCES IN THE BORDER REGION BY ENCOURAGING APPROPRIATE STATE AND FEDERAL AGENCIES TO PROMOTE CONSERVATION POLICIES FOR ALL WATER USE SECTORS.
  6. REQUEST THAT MEXICO’S SECRETARIAT OF THE ENVIRONMENT, NATURAL RESOURCES AND FISHERIES (SEMARNAP) AND THE UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (USEPA), DEVELOP A BINATIONAL PROGRAM WITH STATE INPUT FOR ENVIRONMENTALLY SOUND HANDLING AND MANAGEMENT OF PESTICIDES, FERTILIZERS, AND TOXIC SUBSTANCES USED IN AGRICULTURE AND LIVESTOCK INDUSTRIES IN ORDER TO PROTECT PUBLIC HEALTH.
  7. REQUEST THAT THE SOUTHWEST CENTER FOR ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH AND POLICY (SCERP) APPROVE THE INCORPORATION OF A STATE REPRESENTATIVE FROM EACH COUNTRY TO THE MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE TO BE MORE RESPONSIVE TO THE ENVIRONMENTAL NEEDS OF THE BORDER STATES.
  8. STRENGTHEN AND FORMALIZE THE COORDINATION MECHANISM AMONG THE ENVIRONMENTAL AGENCIES OF THE TEN STATES, WHICH WAS INITIATED WITH THE SUPPORT OF THE UNITED STATES’ WESTERN GOVERNORS’ ASSOCIATION (WGA), AND ENCOURAGE PURSUIT OF CONTINUED FUNDING.
  9. REQUEST THAT EACH FEDERAL GOVERNMENT INCREASE THE APPROPRIATION FROM $1.6 MILLION TO AT LEAST $2 MILLION FROM EACH COUNTRY TO THE BORDER ENVIRONMENTAL COOPERATION COMMISSION (BECC), THROUGH MEXICO’S SECRETARIAT OF THE ENVIRONMENT, NATURAL RESOURCES AND FISHERIES (SEMARNAP) AND THE U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT, TO IMPROVE THE EFFICIENCY OF THE PROJECT APPROVAL PROCESS, INCLUDING REEVALUATION OF CRITERIA AND CERTIFICATION OF PROJECTS PROPOSED BY THE PRIVATE SECTOR.
  10. REQUEST THAT THE NORTH AMERICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK (NADBANK) AND THE BORDER ENVIRONMENT COOPERATION COMMISSION (BECC) INCLUDE A STATE REPRESENTATIVE FROM EACH COUNTRY ON THE U.S.-MEXICO INFRASTRUCTURE COORDINATION COMMITTEE IN ORDER TO INCORPORATE STATE INTERESTS.

EDUCATION

  1. STRENGTHEN AND PROMOTE SUCCESSFUL TECHNICAL TRAINING AND WORK FORCE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS TO ENHANCE THE WELFARE AND PROSPERITY OF THE ECONOMIES AND RESIDENTS OF OUR REGION.
  2. PROMOTE EDUCATIONAL LANGUAGE PROGRAMS THAT ENCOURAGE THE EFFICACY AND FLUENCY OF ENGLISH AND SPANISH.
  3. INTENSIFY COLLABORATION TO MEET FUTURE TEACHER TRAINING AND OTHER EDUCATIONAL NEEDS, WORKING WITHIN EACH STATE GOVERNMENT, AS WELL AS WITH THE MULTI-STATE REGION, TO PROMOTE THE EXCHANGE OF INFORMATION AND THE ANALYSIS OF STRATEGIES TO SOLVE COMMON NEEDS.
  4. REVITALIZE THE EDUCATIONAL STRUCTURES AND PROGRAMS IN THE BORDER STATES TO EXPAND, COORDINATE AND CONSOLIDATE ACADEMIC, TECHNICAL, CULTURAL AND EDUCATIONAL EXCHANGES.
  5. PREPARE A COMPLETE DIRECTORY OF THE EXCHANGE PROGRAMS IN THE TEN BORDER STATES, IDENTIFYING PUBLIC AND PRIVATE FINANCIAL AND HUMAN RESOURCES TO SUPPORT SUCH PROGRAMS.

HAVING AGREED TO THE FOREGOING, THE TEN BORDER GOVERNORS AGREED TO MEET NEXT YEAR IN THE STATE OF TAMAULIPAS, ELECTING THE GOVERNORS OF TAMAULIPAS AND ARIZONA AS PRESIDENT AND VICE PRESIDENT, RESPECTIVELY, OF THE XIX BORDER GOVERNORS CONFERENCE. SIGNED IN SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA, THE 2ND OF JUNE 2000.

XVIII Conference Signatures