Author Archives: Sara Espinosa

Day 4: Trade Mission Wrap-Up

Club de Industriales

On the final day of the trade mission (July 30), the delegation headed over to Club de Industriales for a breakfast, where Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr., U.S. Ambassador E.  Anthony Wayne, Secretary of the Mexican Ministry of the Economy Ildefonso Guajardo Villareal, Senator Kevin de Leon, Assemblymember Christopher Holden (D-Pasadena) and Jose “Pepe” Carral Escalante, president for Club de Industriales, each gave remarks. After eating breakfast, Governor Brown and Secretary Guajardo, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for strengthening trade and investment cooperation.

The Club de Industriales (Industrialists’ Club), which includes more than 1,400 members, is a private club that brings together the most important business people and prominent national and international enterprises in Mexico.

Club de Industriales President Jose Carral welcomes Governor to Mexico.

Club de Industriales President Jose Carral welcomes Governor to Mexico.

Carral was the first to speak at the breakfast and started by talking about the Spanish and Mexican roots of California, and some of the collaborations between Mexico and California throughout the years. An example he illustrated for attendees was when then-President Lazaro Cardenas nationalized the petroleum industry in Mexico, causing foreign banks to pull their investments out of the country. Some California-based companies ignored the boycott eventually, however.

“California has always been there with us,” he added.

Carral gave the Governor a warm welcome to Mexico, telling him “Our casa es su casa. Our club is your club.”

Carral also spoke on the importance of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a proposed free trade agreement that is currently being negotiated by 12 different countries throughout the Asia-Pacific region. Carral said this agreement is a valuable tool to boost the economic exchange in each region.

Senator de Leon said the trade mission with Governor Brown and his colleagues at the legislative branch has been very productive. He said that their objective and agenda is to create binding ties that move trade and commerce between Mexico and the United States. Creating a more efficient system of the movement of goods will benefit jobs on both sides of the border, he said.

Assemblymember Chris Holden

Assemblymember Chris Holden

Assemblymember Holden, representing the California Assembly, said it was an honor to be included in the trade mission and at “this historic gathering of American and Mexican brothers and sisters.” He pledged that he and his colleagues will work in solidarity with the Governor in advancing the MOU’s “thoughtful and constructive intent.” He expressed desire to work with Mexico to “improve the lives of our people.” He thanked Governor Brown, Anne Gust Brown, Ambassador Wayne, the California Chamber of Commerce, his colleagues, and the guests present for their hospitality, leadership and participation, and for ensuring that the trade business is successful.

Governor Brown recounted his memories of Mexico in the 80’s, saying that Mexico had changed and so had California. He said that the humanitarian crisis on the U.S. border is caused by poverty, which means there is a lack of opportunity. At the end of the day, he said, only businesses can create the jobs that will bring more income to families and lift them out of poverty. And it’s very clear that what businesses need are proper investments, he said.

California is not the same place it was 40 years ago, Brown said. Mexican immigrants have influenced and reshaped California institutions at every level. Half the children in California k-12 schools are of Mexican descent and two million students speak a language other than English at home. This opens up tremendous opportunity for investment, new partnerships and new services, he said.

The Governor finished his remarks by saying that he is glad to be in Mexico and that he will come back as there is a lot more to do.

Secretary Guajardo (R) and Gov. Brown sign MOU on trade and investment

Secretary Guajardo (R) and Gov. Brown sign MOU on trade and investment.

The MOU Governor Brown and Secretary Guajardo signed seeks to expand the current level of economic and investment cooperation between Mexico and California in alternative and renewable energy, environmental and related clean technologies, advanced manufacturing, biotechnology, medical devices, information technology (IT), agriculture-related technologies, education, tourism and cross-border goods movement infrastructure.

After the signing of the agreement, the delegates headed to their hotel rooms to pack and prepare for their departure. A casual farewell lunch was held at the hotel to close the trade mission. Governor Brown attended the luncheon, greeting and giving farewell’s to those who were present.

 Gov. Brown signs trade mission briefing book for delegation support staff. (Left to Right) Valeria Sanabia, Deidre Graham and Mary Douglass

Gov. Brown signs trade mission briefing book for delegation support staff at closing luncheon. (Left to Right) Valeria Sanabia, Deidre Graham and Mary Douglass.

We would like to thank the sponsors of this Gubernatorial Trade Mission to Mexico: AES Energy, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), Peak Travel Group, Sempra Energy, and Wine Institute.

AES We Are The EnergyRenewal EnergyPeak Travel Group


Sempra Energy
Wine Institute


We also would like to thank the Office of Governor Jerry Brown, the California Foundation for Commerce & Education, the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, Visit California, the California Department of Food and Agriculture, Casa de California, the U.S. Embassay in Mexico City, the American Chamber of Commerce of Mexico, the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Iron Horse Vineyards, Qualcomm, IEnova, and Club de Industriales for their guidance, partnership and hard work in preparation for and during this trade mission.

We have dozens, upon dozens of photos, and you may be in it! Please subscribe to this blog (very top right hand corner) so that you can be notified of when we post photos of the trade mission events.

If you would like a full-size version of any photo, please contact Sara Espinosa,

Day 3: Education MOU and Business-to-Business Meetings

Casa de California

On day three (July 29) of the Gubernatorial Trade Mission, our delegation got up bright and early to head to the Casa de California, University of California’s mini-campus in Mexico City, to witness Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. sign agreements with Mexico’s Ministry of Education.


MOU signing at Casa de California.

U.S. Ambassador E. Anthony Wayne, Senator President pro Tem-elect Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles), Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens), and Mexico Secretary of Foreign Affairs Dr. José Antonio Meade Kuribreña gave remarks before Governor Brown took the podium to give remarks of his own.

Assemblywoman Garcia emphasized that California and Mexico have a long history, and shared heritage. She continued on to say that in this technologically advanced world, quality education is not enough. “We need to be more internationally aware and cross-culturally adept.”

She said there’s a greater need for highly-trained workers that extend beyond our national borders. For this reason, we must work locally and globally to tackle the problems of this century and beyond, she said.

Senator Kevin de Leon

Senator Kevin de Leon

During his remarks, de León addressed immigration in California, saying that in both chambers of the California legislature, legislators respect the globally diverse mosaic of immigrants, and respect the human rights and dignity of those immigrants who left their homeland and came to the United States to better the lives of their family through their hard work.

Before signing the memorandum of understanding (MOU), Governor Brown spoke about a relatively recent development in education: online learning. The Governor said he would like to make sure that we advance online learning, but acknowledged that it is still in a very “embryonic stage.” He said he’d like to see the day when a student could take a course in Mexico and still get full credit at Cal State, all campuses of the University of California system, and California community colleges. This scenario is inevitable, the Governor said, but the time frame of which this can be achieved is what is not certain. It depends on how well lawmakers can translate collaboration into real facts on the ground, he said.

“All things that are good, always require overcoming resistance,” Brown added.

1QualcommLogo.svg1ienovaAfter the MOU signing, the legislators and business delegates headed to individual meetings with Qualcomm and IEnova (a Sempra Energy company) for briefings on the Mexico business climate.

Business delegates were welcomed to IEnova by Ana Franco, handling public relations for IEnova in Mexico, a subsidiary of Semapra based in San Diego. IEnova was one of the first private companies to invest in energy infrastructure in Mexico in the mid-1990’s as result of the regulatory reforms to the Mexican gas sector in 1995.

Delegates visit IEnova; (from left) Rafael Castellanos, Philip Recht, Bob Nelson, Lucy Dunn, Gary Toebben, Thomas Sayles, Assemblymember Rocky Chavez, Mark Snell, Allan Zarember, Susanne Stirling, Mark Rodriguez, Juan Carlos Briseño Merino, Carlos Ruiz Sacristan, Larry Dickie.

Delegates visit IEnova; (from left) Rafael Castellanos, Philip Recht, Bob Nelson, Lucy Dunn, Gary Toebben, Thomas Sayles, Assemblymember Rocky Chavez, Mark Snell, Allan Zaremberg, Susanne Stirling, Mark Rodriguez, Juan Carlos Briseño Merino, Carlos Ruiz Sacristan, Larry Dicke.

These reforms allowed private participation in natural gas pipelines, distribution and storage. Since 1997, IEnova’s presence has increased through the development of new projects, organic growth and acquisitions; having invested approximately US $ 2.8 billion in energy infrastructure.

Mark Snell, President of Sempra in San Diego and a mission delegate explained how Sempra operates in Mexico and also in Peru and Valparaiso, Chile.

Carlos Ruiz Sacristan, chief executive officer of IEnova, explained how the last years have been significant as the company started as a new stage as a publicly traded company listed on the Mexican stock exchange or Bolsa.

Tania Ortiz Mena, vice president of External Affairs and Busines Development, went on to explain how the new energy reforms in Mexico will give IEnova new opportunities.

1amchamThe American Chamber of Commerce of Mexico (AmCham) hosted a lunch for the delegation, which was attended by legislators and Governor Brown. Executive Vice President and General Director of AmCham Guillermo Wolf warmly welcomed the delegation to Mexico City; Governor Brown, Senator de León , Senator Ben Hueso (D-San Diego), Assemblymember Luis Alejo (D-Watsonville) and Ambassador Wayne each gave remarks at the luncheon.

Guillermo Wolf (L) and Allan Zaremberg.

Guillermo Wolf (L) and Allan Zaremberg.

Assemblyman Luis Alejo

Assemblyman Luis Alejo at the AmCham Luncheon.

The American Chamber of Commerce in Mexico is nonprofit organization that represents more than 1,000 U.S. companies and 3,500 individuals doing business in Mexico.

(From left) Dean Fealk, George John Gigounas, Kathleen Brown, Frank Damrell, Tour Guide Marco Antonio at the Museum of Anthropology.

(From left) Dean Fealk, George John Gigounas, Kathleen Brown, Frank Damrell, Tour Guide Marco Antonio at the Museum of Anthropology.

The cultural component of the day was a tour of the National Museum of Anthropology, which has a number of significant archaeological and anthropological artifacts and exhibits, such as: the Stone of the Sun; giant stone heads of the Olmec civilization; and a replica of Aztec Emperor Montezuma II’s headdress (the original was given to Hernan Cortes and is now at a museum in Vienna).

After making a brief stop at the hotel to freshen up, the delegation headed to the Four Seasons hotel for a dinner hosted by Visit California, the California Department of Food and Agriculture, and the Wine Institute. The event celebrated the food and wine that California has to offer.

Caroline Beteta, president and CEO of Visit California, introduced Governor Brown, who gave some remarks before the delegation. The night’s entertainment was provided by David Garibaldi, a well-known performance painter from California. He wowed the crowd as he used his paints and brushes to the beat of music to create a painting that fused the flag emblems of California and Mexico: a bear and an eagle.


Artist David Garibaldi


Garibaldi’s completed painting.

During the day, Governor Brown met with Mexico’s President of the Senate Raúl Cervantes Andrade and other Mexican legislators. Later in the day he met with Archbishop of Los Angeles Jose Horacio Gomez, and religious and diplomatic leaders from Mexico and Central America to discuss immigration at the Club de Industriales, which is across from the JW Marriott Hotel.

Gov. Brown met with Archbishop Jose Horacio Gomez and others to discuss immigration yesterday.

Gov. Brown met with Archbishop Jose Horacio Gomez and others to discuss immigration yesterday.


Day 2: Trade, Investment, Climate and MOU

Yesterday’s packed schedule began with an in-depth breakfast briefing on trade and investment by experts on the economic, business and tourism ties between Mexico and California.

Ambassador Eleni Kounalakis

Ambassador Eleni Kounalakis

Ambassador Eleni Kounalakis, chair of the California Advisory Council for International Trade and Investment, was the first speaker to be introduced. She thanked the Governor’s Office of Business Development (GO-Biz), adding that the office plays an important role in achieving the goals of increasing trade and investment in California. The Ambassador urged the present business delegation to submit their input, saying that the office needs to hear from the business community on how to increase exports and direct investment into California.

Senator Lou Correa

Senator Lou Correa

Senator Lou Correa (D-Anaheim) spoke after Ambassador Kounalakis. He began his remarks by pointing to Disneyland, which is located in his home district. The biggest tourist group to visit Disneyland each year is from Mexico, he said. He further stressed the importance of trade with Mexico by adding that Mexico is California’s largest trading partner and that trade between Mexico and California is three times greater than trade between California and Texas. The senator referred back to the opening reception of the trade mission, when Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. said that delegates should prepare for a “successful trade mission.” Correa asked “What does ‘successful’ mean?” He questioned how many delegates will continue to follow-up with their business contacts after the trade mission ends, but expressed hope that attendees will find their “diamond in the rough” in Mexico.

Assemblyman Jose Medina (D-Riverside) followed Correa, calling Mexico a nexus for the movement of goods. He said he calls Mexico a nexus because goods come into California and then continue on to the rest of the United States.

Dorothy Lutter talks about Mexico’s economy during the Trade and Investment Breakfast Briefing.

Dorothy Lutter talks about Mexico’s economy during the Trade and Investment Breakfast Briefing.

Top officials from the U.S. Embassy in Mexico, Dorothy Lutter, minister counselor for Commercial Services, and Kemy Monahan, minister counselor for Commercial Affairs, joined forces to answer questions from the delegation concerning business operations in Mexico. Lutter also gave a PowerPoint presentation (available under the “Documents/Resources” tab above), where she dispelled misconceptions regarding manufacturing in Mexico. For example, she mentioned that Mexico is the fourth largest provider of IT services in the world and that the aviation sector in the country is booming.

Caroline Beteta, president and CEO of Visit California, also spoke at the briefing and played a few of the promotional videos that Visit California has created to market California as a top destination to visitors. Tourism is a very competitive industry because it is so lucrative, Beteta said. Luckily, tourism in California is booming—it is the most visited state in the country. Even though tourism is a service, it is still considered an export and is factored into the state’s GDP. Every year, travelers pump nearly $110 billion into California’s economy.

Air travel is the key target of Visit California’s marketing, as air travelers spend three times as much money as a ground transportation travelers do. The average Mexican air traveler will spend the equivalent value of 500 pounds of exported almonds.

Delegates watch presentation by Caroline Beteta, president and CEO Visit California.

Caroline Beteta’s PowerPoint presentation can be found under the “Documents/Resources” tab above.

To view Visit California’s Dreamer video, see For more information on Visit California, please visit

After the breakfast briefing, the delegation headed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs where Mary Nichols, president of the California Air Resources Board, and a panel of experts discussed climate change and the importance of a strong collaborative relationship between Mexico and United States. The panel consisted of: Juan Carlos Belausteguigoita Rius, executive director of the Mario Molina Center; Nathaniel Keohane, vice president of International Climate at the Environmental Defense Fund; Rodolfo Lacy Tamayo, undersecretary for planning and environmental policy at the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT).


(From left) Undersecretary Lacy, Governor Brown, and General Director Rescala

After this high-level dialogue, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.; Undersecretary Lacy; and General Director Jorge Rescala, National Forestry Commission of Mexico, ascended the stage to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to combat climate change. The agreement lists a range of joint activities to reduce greenhouse gases, collaborate on strategies to respond to fires along the border, improve air quality and expand markets for clean energy strategies, and strengthen fuel and truck efficiency standards and support green freight initiatives.

Before signing the MOU, Undersecretary Lacy said that Mexico and California have a long history of environmental cooperation.
“The agreement signed today will take our joint work to a whole new level of cooperation, which will reflect in tangible and concrete results that will inure to our mutual benefit,” he said.

After witnessing the MOU signing, some delegates chose to attend one of the cultural events of the trade mission: a visit to the Cathedral of the Assumption of Mary. It is the largest cathedral in the Americas and the seat of the Archdiocese of Mexico.

Delegates visit the Cathedral of the Assumption of Mary.

Delegates visit the Cathedral of the Assumption of Mary.

During the day, Governor Brown met privately with President of Mexico Enrique Peña Nieto.  After the meeting, Governor Brown announced that President Nieto accepted his invitation to visit California.

Governor Brown meets privately with President Enrique Peña Nieto (R).

Governor Brown meets privately with President Enrique Peña Nieto (R). Photo by Justin Short

Ken Zagzebski, president of AES, at Museo Soumaya.

In the evening, delegates headed to the Soumaya Museum for a match-making evening reception with Mexican business leaders and investors gathered by the U.S. Foreign Commercial Service and partners in Mexico. Governor Brown and Ambassador E. Anthony Wayne both made remarks. In addition, the event sponsor AES, was represented by Ken Zagzebski, president, United States Strategic Business Unit, AES Corporation, which handles major electrical generation in Southern California.

The Museo Soumaya is a private museum in the Nuevo Polanco area of Mexico City. It has a collection of more than 66,000 pieces of art. The majority of the art consists of European works from the 15th to the 20th century. It also holds Mexican art, religious relics, historical documents and coins. The museum contains the world’s largest collection of pre-Hispanic and colonial era coins. It also holds the largest collection of casts of sculptures by Auguste Rodin outside of France.

After the reception, delegates and some members of the California legislature attended an evening dinner at the Hacienda de los Morales. Iron Horse Ranch and Vineyards gifted the sparkling wine at this dinner.

Joy Sterling of Iron Horse Vineyards at Hacienda de los Morales.

Joy Sterling, CEO of Iron Horse Vineyards, at Hacienda de los Morales.

Day 1: Arrival and Reception

View of Mexico City

View of Mexico City from Chapultepec Castle, with the Sierra Nevada in the distance.

Today we left sunny California for the financial and political center of Mexico: Mexico City. This 600-year old city is the oldest capitol city in the Americas and is one of the most populated cities in the world.

It sits 7,380 feet above sea level (more than a mile), and if you look up towards the horizon, past the skyscrapers, you can see that the city is cradled by majestic mountains and volcanoes. Two volcanoes in this mountain range, Popocatépetl (the smoking mountain) and Iztaccíhuatl (white woman), have inspired tales and art for centuries.

The delegation is staying at the JW Marriott hotel in the Polanco district, which is situated across Chapultepec Park, one of the largest public parks in the world. This area has been inhabited since pre-Hispanic times and was a retreat for Aztec rulers. The park in many ways is considered not just a green space, but a historic site as well.

Mexico City is in the middle of its rainy season, which is encapsulating everyone in lush greenery and especially is gifting us with beautiful forest views of Chapultepec—a welcome oasis to the California delegation.

Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. tells delegates to prepare for a successful trade mission.

After checking into our hotel rooms, we headed to the trade mission Welcome Reception. Allan Zaremberg, president and CEO of the California Chamber of Commerce, was the night’s master of ceremonies, thanking the delegates for joining the trade mission and introducing the night’s speakers: Ambassador Wayne, who welcomed everyone to Mexico City; and Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.

The Governor spoke for a few minutes, welcoming everyone to the trade mission, and asked everyone to prepare for topics on education, climate and culture, and to prepare for a very successful trade mission.

U.S. Ambassador to Mexico E. Anthony Wayne (right) welcomes delegates to the 2014 Gubernatorial Trade Mission to Mexico; Allan Zaremberg, president and CEO of the California Chamber of Commerce.

Senator President pro Tem-elect elect Kevin de León, Senator Ellen Corbett, Senator Lou Correa, Senator Ben Hueso, Assembly Delegation Leader Manuel Pérez, Assemblymember Luis Alejo, Assembly member Richard Bloom, Assemblymember Nora Campos, Assemblymember Rocky Chávez, Assemblymember Susan Eggman, Assemblymember Cristina Garcia, Assemblymember Roger Hernández, Assemblymember Chris Holden, and Assemblymember Jose Medina joined the reception, which allowed delegates to formally meet each other for the first time.

Ambassador Carlos González Gutiérrez, consul general of Mexico in Sacramento, and a large group of consul generals from throughout California attended the welcome reception as well; including, Consul General of Mexico in San Diego Maria De Los Remedios Gomez Arnau, Consul General of Mexico in Oxnard Ana Berenice Díaz Ceballos Parada, Consul General of Mexico in San Jose Carlos Ponce Martinez, Consul General of Mexico in San Francisco Dr. Andres Roemer, and Consul General of Mexico in Los Angeles Carlos Sada.

Also in attendance were members from the Governor’s cabinet:

  • Caroline Beteta, President and CEO of Visit California;
  • Mark Ghilarducci, Director of the Office of Emergency Services;
  • Brian Kelly, Secretary of the Transportation Agency;
  • Ambassador Eleni Kounalakis, Chair of the California Advisory Council for International Trade and Investment;
  • Dr. Mary Nichols, Chair of the Air Resources Board;
  • Matthew Rodriquez, Secretary of the EPA;
  • Karen Ross, Secretary of the Department of Food and Agriculture; and
  • Michael Rossi, Senior Advisor for Jobs and Business.

To view the list of the delegates that joined us on this trade mission, presentations shown during the mission and other documents, please visit the Documents/Resources tab above.

Members of the 2014 Gubernatorial Trade Mission to Mexico delegation. Photo by Justin Short, Office of the Governor

Members of the 2014 Gubernatorial Trade Mission to Mexico delegation. Photo by Justin Short, Office of the Governor