Texas Border and Mexican Affairs

XIV BORDER GOVERNORS CONFERENCE
UNITED STATES-MEXICO


JOINT DECLARATION

PREAMBLE


WHEREAS, THE NORTH AMERICAN FREE TRADE AGREEMENT (NAFTA), AN ACCORD ENTERED WILLINGLY INTO BY THE NATIONS OF CANADA, MEXICO AND THE UNITED STATES, IS AN ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIP REQUIRING THE UNIMPEDED FLOW OF GOODS AND SERVICES THROUGHOUT NORTH AMERICA;

WHEREAS, 'FREE TRADE' IS EXPLICITLY DEFINED AS TRADE BETWEEN NATIONS OR STATES WITHOUT PROTECTIVE BARRIERS, AND REQUIRES ADHERENCE TO RECIPROCATIVE NATIONAL TREATMENT THROUGHOUT THE NORTH AMERICAN MARKETPLACE;

WHEREAS, THE BORDER GOVERNORS IDENTIFIED THE MIGRATION ISSUE AS ONE WHICH MUST BE RESOLVED AND THE HUMAN RIGHTS AND DIGNITY OF MIGRANTS PROTECTED;

WHEREAS, THE POSITIVE MAINTENANCE OF THE ENVIRONMENT IS CRITICAL TO THE OVERALL QUALITY OF LIFE FOR THE COMMUNITIES OF THE UNITED STATES - MEXICO BORDER AND THE ECONOMIC AND PHYSICAL WELL-BEING OF ITS RESIDENTS;

WHEREAS, THE GROWING ECONOMIC INTEGRATION BETWEEN OUR TWO NATIONS AND THE RESULTING OPENING OP NEW MARKETS AND INDUSTRIES IS CREATING NEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR BUSINESS EXPANSION AND ECONOMIC GROWTH IN THE REGION, THE ECONOMIC FUTURES OF THE UNITED STATES AND MEXICO ARE INEXTRICABLY LINKED AND INTERDEPENDENT;

WHEREAS, THE UNITED STATES - MEXICO BORDER STATES ARE ENGAGED IN A STRATEGIC CULTURAL, ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL PARTNERSHIP TO MAXIMIZE THE DIVERSE BENEFITS AND OPPORTUNITIES CREATED BY THE NORTH AMERICAN FREE TRADE AGREEMENT;

WHEREAS, THE UNITED STATES - MEXICO BORDER GOVERNORS' CONFERENCES HAVE ESTABLISHED AN EXCELLENT FORUM FOR ANALYSIS, DIALOGUE AND SUPPORT FOR SPECIFIC INITIATIVES AND POLICIES THAT ADDRESS THE UNIQUE NEEDS OF THE BORDER REGION;

NOW, THEREFORE, WE, THE GOVERNORS OF ARIZONA, CALIFORNIA, NEW MEXICO, TEXAS, BAJA CALIFORNIA, CHIHUAHUA, COAHUILA, NUEVO LEON, SONORA AND TAMAULIPAS, THE STATES COMPRISING THE UNITED STATES - MEXICO BORDER REGION (REGION), REMAIN STRONGLY COMMITTED TO THE SPIRIT AND PRINCIPLES OF THE NORTH AMERICAN FREE TRADE AGREEMENT, WHICH EMBODIES RESPECT FOR NATIONAL SOVEREIGNTY, RECIPROCITY AND NATIONAL TREATMENT FOR THE GOODS AND SERVICES ORIGINATING IN NORTH AMERICA, PROTECTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT, COOPERATION AND PARTNERSHIP THAT IMPROVES THE QUALITY OF LIFE IN THE REGION, AND BENEFITS THE PEOPLE OF NORTH AMERICA.

THE UNITED STATES - MEXICO BORDER GOVERNORS, MEETING FOR THE FOURTEENTH BORDER GOVERNORS' CONFERENCE IN THE CITY OP SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO ON MAY 30 AND 31, 1996, DISCUSSED THE FOLLOWING TOPICS: BORDER CROSSINGS; ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROLS; NON-TARIFF TRADE BARRIERS AND CONSULAR POSTS.

ON BEHALF OF THE STATES OF ARIZONA, CALIFORNIA, NEW MEXICO, TEXAS, BAJA CALIFORNIA, CHIHUAHUA, COAHUILA, NUEVO LEON, SONORA AND TAMAULIPAS, WE SUBMIT THE FOLLOWING

JOINT DECLARATION

BORDER CROSSINGS

TO SUPPORT THE INTENT AND IMPLEMENTATION OF THE UNIFIED BORDER PORT MANAGEMENT PILOT PROJECT;

TO ENCOURAGE THE INSTALLATION OF BILINGUAL SIGNAGE ON BOTH SIDES OF THE BORDER TO ASSIST PEDESTRIAN, COMMERCIAL AND VEHICULAR TRAFFIC AT DESIGNATED PORTS OF ENTRY;

TO PROMOTE THE WORK OF THE NATIONAL LAW CENTER FOR INTERAMERICAN FREE TRADE AND THE INSTITUTO DE INVESTIGACIONES JURIDICAS DE LA UNAM, WHICH ARE WORKING TO FACILITATE TRADE AND INVESTMENT IN THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE BY STANDARDIZING KEY TRADE AND INVESTMENT LAW;

TO SUPPORT THE CONCEPT OF THE "ONLY SONORA" PROGRAM FOR IMPLEMENTATION IN OTHER WILLING MEXICAN STATES;

TO SUPPORT LEGISLATION THAT WOULD ALLOW THE PRIVATIZATION OF PORTS-OF-ENTRY ON THE U.S. SIDE OF THE BORDER;

ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROLS

TO ENCOURAGE THE NORTH AMERICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK (NADBANK) TO LEVERAGE ITS FUNDS THROUGH EXISTING MECHANISMS IN THE STATES AND TO WORK IN PARTNERSHIP WITH EXISTING DOMESTIC ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS;

TO SUPPORT THE BORDER ENVIRONMENT COOPERATION COMMISSION (BECC) AND THE NADBANK IN THEIR EFFORTS TO ESTABLISH A 'SMALL CITIES' PROGRAM THAT ADDRESSES THE SPECIAL NEEDS OF THESE COMMUNITIES;

TO SUPPORT THE CONTINUATION OF BINATIONAL EFFORTS TO ADDRESS ISSUES OF TOXIC WASTES; WATER AND AIR CONTAMINATION; ENVIRONMENTAL CONTINGENCY PLANS; APPLICATION OF LAWS CONTROLLING THE CONTAMINATION OF THE ENVIRONMENT; INCREASED MEASURES TO PREVENT CONTAMINATION; CONTROL AND PRESERVATION OF NATURAL RESOURCES; ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH; CREATION AND IMPLEMENTATION OF INFORMATION SYSTEMS;

TO ATTRACT TO THE REGION, INDUSTRIES THAT ARE DEDICATED TO RECYCLING AND THE UTILIZATION OF TECHNOLOGY THAT ELIMINATES TOXIC WASTES;

TO PROMOTE THE IMPLEMENTATION OF A SYSTEM TO REGULATE VEHICULAR EMISSIONS OF CARS AND MOTOR CARRIERS IN THE MEXICAN SIDE OF THE REGION TO REDUCE CONTAMINATION;

TO ENCOURAGE THE PRESIDENTS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, AND THE UNITED STATES OF MEXICO TO CONTINUE TO FULLY SUPPORT THE WORK OF THE BECC AND NADBANK ON IMPLEMENTATION OF BORDER ENVIRONMENTAL INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS;

TO ENSURE THE CONTINUED SUPPORT AND COOPERATION OF THE BORDER STATES IN THE MISSION OF THE BECC AND NADBANK, THE PROCESSING OF APPLICATIONS NEEDS TO BE STREAMLINED AND EXPEDlTED.

NON-TARIFF TRADE BARRIERS

TO MAINTAIN STRONG SUPPORT POR THE PRINCIPLES AND INTENT OF THE NAFTA, AND THE PRESCRIBED IMPLEMENTATION OF SAID AGREEMENT, BY CONTINUING TO DEVELOP INITIATIVES AND PROJECTS WHICH FACILITATE THE EXCHANGE AND FLOW OF GOODS AND SERVICES THROUGH THE REGION FOR DISTRIBUTION THROUGHOUT NORTH AMERICA;

TO CONTINUE STRONGLY OPPOSING, AT ALL LEVELS OF THE PRIVATE AND PUBLIC SECTORS IN THE UNITED STATES AND MEXICO, THE IMPOSITION OF NEW TARIFFS AND NON-TARIFF TRADE BARRIERS WHICH ARE INTENDED TO CIRCUMVENT THE PROVISIONS OF NAFTA AND ENACT PROTECTIONIST MEASURES FOR SPECIFIC PRODUCTS AND INDUSTRIES;

TO USE, IN INTRA-INDUSTRY TRADE DISPUTES, THE FOUNDATION OF COOPERATION AND PARTNERSHIP AS THE VEHICLE TO PROMOTE THE UTILIZATION OF LOCAL DISPUTE RESOLUTION AS AN ALTERNATIVE OPTION TO THE FORMAL DISPUTE RESOLUTION MECHANISM PROVIDED BY THE NAFTA;

TO PROMOTE THE DESIGNATION OF THE BORDER REGION AS A "DISEASE-FREE ZONE" FOR LIVESTOCK AND AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS THAT HAVE MET THE SANITARY REQUIREMENTS OF BOTH COUNTRIES;

TO EMPLOY EMPIRIC AND SCIENTIFIC METHODS THAT WILL POSITIVELY MODIFY TRADE REGULATIONS THAT CURRENTLY IMPEDE FREE TRADE IN NORTH AMERICA;

TO ESTABLISH AN ONGOING DIALOGUE AND AN OPEN LINE OF COMMUNICATION BETWEEN THE BORDER GOVERNORS' CONFERENCE AND FEDERAL OFFICIALS AND AGENCIES IN BOTH COUNTRIES FOR THE PURPOSE OF EXCHANGING AND DISSEMINATING INFORMATION PERTINENT TO THE ISSUES OF THE REGION;

TO PROVIDE EXPERT ADVICE AND CONSULTATION ON THESE ISSUES WHILE MAINTAINING ACTIVE OPPOSITION TO EXISTING TRADE BARRIERS AND THE IMPOSITION OF NEW NON-TARIFF TRADE BARRIERS;

CONSULAR POSTS

TO RECOGNIZE THAT U.S. CONSULATES SERVING THE BORDER REGION ARE ACTIVE IN PROVIDING ESSENTIAL SERVICES TQ AMERICAN AND MEXICAN CITIZENS, PROMOTING TRADE, MONITORING MIGRATION, AND THE APPLICATION OF IMMIGRATION LAWS;

WE SUPPORT THE STRATEGIC DECISION OF THE STATE DEPARTMENT TO KEEP THE CONSULATES AT MATAMOROS AND HERMOSILLO OPEN TO PROVIDE THESE IMPORTANT SERVICES TO RESIDENTS OF BOTH COUNTRIES;

TO UNANIMOUSLY SUPPORT THE CONTINUED OPERATION OF THE U.S. CONSULAR POSTS IN THE REGION WHICH SUPPORT THE AMERICANS AND MEXICANS OF OUR COMMON BORDER.

SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO, MAY 31, 1996

XIV Firmas de Gobernadores