Election Outlook: Last day to register to vote for the November 4, 2014 Gubernatorial Election is Monday, October 6, 2014 | What’s on the Ballot | Voter information
Texas Border and Mexican Affairs

XV BORDER GOVERNORS CONFERENCE
UNITED STATES-MEXICO


JOINT DECLARATION
PREAMBLE


WHEREAS, THE BORDER STATES OF THE UNITED STATES AND MEXICO CONSTITUTE A UNIQUE REGION THAT OFFERS IMMENSE OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES, AND BECAUSE TO CIRCUMSTANCES IN THEIR RESPECTIVE COUNTRIES AND PRESENT INTERNATIONAL CONDITIONS, THESE ISSUES REQUIRE A GREATER DEGREE OF ATTENTION;

WHEREAS, THE NORTH AMERICAN FREE TRADE AGREEMENT (NAFTA), AN ACCORD ENTERED 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 RECIPROCAL 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, ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT ARE 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 INTERACTION BETWEEN OUR TWO NATIONS AND THE OPENING OF GLOBAL MARKETS AND DIVERSIFICATION OF OUR INDUSTRIES ARE CREATING NEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR BUSINESS EXPANSION, GROWTH, AND INVESTMENT IN THE REGION, REINFORCING THE BELIEF THAT THE ECONOMIC FUTURES OF THE UNITED STATES AND MEXICO ARE INEXTRICABLY LINKED AND INTERDEPENDENT;

WHEREAS, THE BORDER GOVERNORS' CONFERENCE SEEKS TO MAINTAIN AN OPEN LINE OF COMMUNICATION WITH GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS AND AGENCIES AT FEDERAL, STATE, AND LOCAL LEVELS IN BOTH COUNTRIES FOR THE PURPOSE OF EXCHANGING AND DISSEMINATING INFORMATION PERTINENT TO THE ISSUES FACING THE REGION;

WHEREAS, THE BORDER GOVERNORS' CONFERENCE SEEKS TO ESTABLISH ALLIANCES WITH ORGANIZATIONS SHARING SIMILAR GOALS TO ENRICH THE DEVELOPMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION OF PROJECTS AND PLANNING EFFORTS THAT BENEFIT THE ENTIRE BORDER COMMUNITY AND THAT FACILITATE TRADE AND INVESTMENT IN THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE;

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; AND

WHEREAS, THE OBJECTIVE OF THE UNITED STATES-MEXICO BORDER GOVERNORS' CONFERENCE IS TO STRENGTHEN THE DIALOGUE AND FRIENDSHIP AMONG THE BORDER GOVERNORS THROUGH AN APPROPRIATE FORUM FOR THE ANALYSIS OF AND SUPPORT FOR FOR SPECIFIC INITIATIVES AND POLICIES THAT ADDRESS THE NEEDS OF THE BORDER REGION.

NOW, THEREFORE, WE, THE TEN UNITED STATES-MEXICO BORDER GOVERNORS, MEETING AT THE FIFTEENTH BORDER GOVERNORS' CONFERENCE IN THE CITY OF SALTILLO, COAHUILA ON THE FIFTH AND SIXTH OF JUNE, 1997, AND AFTER DISCUSSING THE TOPICS OF BORDER CROSSINGS, ENVIRONMENT, REGIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, AND AGRIBUSINESS, SUBMIT THE FOLLOWING RECOMMENDATIONS ON BEHALF OF THE STATES OF ARIZONA, CALIFORNIA, NEW MEXICO, TEXAS, BAJA CALIFORNIA, CHIHUAHUA, COAHUILA, NUEVO LEON, SONORA, AND TAMAULIPAS:

JOINT DECLARATION

BORDER CROSSINGS

TO SUPPORT THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE TRUCKING PROVISIONS AND TO INSURE THEIR APPLICATION AS MANDATED BY NAFTA;

TO ENCOURAGE THE COMPATIBILITY OF STATE MOTOR CARRIER PROVISIONS AND REGULATIONS IN THE UNITED STATES IN ORDER TO STREAMLINE THE PROCESS OF VEHICLE DOCUMENTATION, WHILE ENSURING THAT SAFETY STANDARDS ARE MAINTAINED AND PROTECTED, FACILITATING TRADE THROUGHOUT THE REGION;

TO PROMOTE THE IMPLEMENTATION OF PRACTICES AND PROGRAMS, ON BOTH SIDES OF THE BORDER, WHICH ARE CURRENTLY BEING CARRIED OUT IN THE UNITED STATES SUCH AS UNIFIED PORT MANAGEMENT (UPM), DEDICATED COMMUTER LANES (DCL), AND PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS SUCH AS THE BORDER ANTI-SMUGGLING COALITION (BASC), THAT ARE DESIGNED TO MAXIMIZE THE EFFICIENT USE OF RESOURCES AT THE PORT OF ENTRY IN ORDER TO STREAMLINE AND EXPEDITE BORDER INSPECTION AND CROSSING PROCEDURES THROUGH PORTS OF ENTRY, TO HELP PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT, AND TO CURTAIL THE FLOW OF NARCOTICS ACROSS THE UNITED STATES-MEXICO BORDER;

TO ENCOURAGE THE UNITED STATES IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE AND OTHER INSPECTION AGENCIES TO ADHERE TO ESTABLISHED, CONCRETE AND TRANSPARENT REQUIREMENTS FOR LEGAL ENTRY INTO THE UNITED STATES, AND TO STANDARDIZE THE APPLICATION CRITERIA FOR THE ISSUANCE OF MULTIPLE-ENTRY PERMITS IN ORDER TO SIMPLIFY THE PROCESS;

TO IMPLEMENT A BINATIONAL EDUCATION STRATEGY FOR THE GENERAL PUBLIC THAT INCLUDES SIGNAGE, PUBLIC SEMINARS AND WORKSHOPS, AND THE DISTRIBUTION OF LITERATURE THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE REGION, OUTLINING THE FOLLOWING: (A) THE REQUIREMENTS FOR ENTRY INTO THE UNITED STATES OR MEXICO; (B) THE TRANSPORT OF WEAPONS AND THE CONSEQUENCES FOR VIOLATION OF THE PERTINENT LAWS; AND (C) RULES AND REGULATIONS APPLICABLE FOR HUNTING, FISHING, AND OTHER RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES;

TO OPPOSE ANY FEDERALLY MANDATED BORDER CROSSING FEE THAT TAXES THE BORDER COMMUNITIES AND THEIR PEOPLE; AND

TO SUPPORT AN INCREASED AND MORE EFFICIENT UNITED STATES CONSULAR PRESENCE IN MEXICO, ESPECIALLY IN THE BORDER REGION. CONSULATES IN BOTH COUNTRIES PROVIDE SERVICES TO THEIR CITIZENS, PROMOTE TRADE, MONITOR MIGRATION, ENFORCE IMMIGRATION LAWS, AND PROTECT THEIR RESPECTIVE CITIZENS' INTERESTS IN BOTH COUNTRIES.

ENVIRONMENT

TO PROMOTE A CHANGE FROM FEDERAL TO STATE AND LOCAL MANAGEMENT IN THE AREAS OF ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCES AND PROGRAMS. TO ENCOURAGE THE REALLOCATION OF FEDERAL AND INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION FUNDS TO INDIVIDUAL MEXICAN AND UNITED STATES BORDER STATES;

TO SUPPORT THE IMPLEMENTATION OF A BORDERWIDE ELECTRONIC INFORMATION SYSTEM, ESTABLISH AN ENVIRONMENTAL INFORMATION NETWORK, DEVELOP A GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEM (GIS) DATATBASE, AND PURSUE COMPATIBLE METHODS FOR INFORMATION SHARING IN COOPERATION WITH EXISTING PROGRAMS;

TO SUPPORT THE "CLEAN BORDER PROJECT", A COOPERATIVE EFFORT WITH PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SECTOR SPONSORSHIP, IN COLLABORATION WITH INDUSTRY, MAQUILADORAS, OTHER BUSINESSES AND STATE AGENCIES. THE "CLEAN BORDER PROJECT" WOULD SEEK TO ESTABLISH AN AWARD SYSTEM FOR OUTSTANDING SUPPORT OF ENVIRONMENTAL INITIATIVES;

TO URGE A MORE EFFICIENT AND RESPONSIVE BORDER ENVIRONMENT COOPERATIVE COMMISSION (BECC) AND NORTH AMERICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK (NADBANK), IDENTIFYING WAYS TO BETTER ALLOCATE NADBANK'S ECONOMIC RESOURCES TO MEET THE NEEDS OF BORDER COMMUNITIES;

TO ESTABLISH PROGRAMS FOR POLLUTION PREVENTION AND REDUCTION, RECYCLING, REUSE AND WATER CONSERVATION THROUGHOUT THE REGION;

TO PROMOTE THE DEVELOPMENT OF LOW-COST ENVIRONMENTAL ABATEMENT AND PROTECTION TECHNOLOGIES TO BENEFIT THE REGION'S ENVIRONMENTAL INFRASTRUCTURE;

TO PROMOTE TRAINING IN HAZARDOUS WASTE TRANSPORTATION, HANDLING AND DISPOSAL;

TO DISSEMINATE INFORMATION REGARDING THE CONTENT AND TECHNICAL MANAGEMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROVISIONS OF BOTH COUNTRIES, INCLUDING PROCEDURES FOR PROTECTING THE ENVIRONMENT AND PROMOTING THE USE OF HARMONIZED TECHNICAL TERMS AND METHODS BY ENVIRONMENTAL AGENCIES;

TO SUPPORT THE CREATION AND IMPLEMENTATION OF EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS ON ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH WHICH BENEFIT THE INHABITANTS OF THE REGION;

TO SUPPORT "TEN AGAINST TB" (TATB), A BINATIONAL COLLABORATION COMPRISED OF THE TEN BORDER STATES, TO DEVELOP AND IMPLEMENT BINATIONAL STRATEGIES TO REDUCE THE SPREAD OF TUBERCULOSIS IN THE REGION;

TO SUPPORT "AGUA PARA BEBER" (DRINKING WATER), A COMMUNITY-BASED PROGRAM AIMED AT REDUCING ILLNESS BY IMPROVING WATER QUALITY THROUGH HYGIENE EDUCATION AND WATER PURIFICATION ACTIVITIES IN THE BORDER AREAS LACKING SAFE DRINKING WATER;

TO PROMOTE PROGRAMS IN THE UNITED STATES AND MEXICO THAT CURTAIL EMISSIONS IN MOTOR CARRIERS AND PRIVATE VEHICLES, AND ENCOURAGE BOTH COUNTRIES TO TAKE CONSTRUCTIVE MEASURES TO UPGRADE THEIR RESPECTIVE EMISSIONS AND COMPLIANCE STANDARDS.

REGIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

TO DEVELOP STRATEGIC ALLIANCES WITHIN THE REGION TO PROMOTE ITS ECONOMIC VIABILITY AND COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGES WITH THE AIM OF ATTRACTING DIRECT INVESTMENT FROM OTHER WORLD MARKETS BY DEVELOPING, AS AN EXAMPLE, PROMOTIONAL MATERIALS FOR THE REGION;

TO DEVELOP A PLAN WHICH ENABLES THE BORDER STATES TO INCREASE THEIR MARKET SHARE IN SALES TO INDUSTRY IN THE REGION BY DEVELOPING A DATABASE WITH INFORMATION COMPILED FROM EACH STATE ON THE PRODUCTS AND SERVICES THAT INDUSTRY SELLS, AS WELL AS THE RAW MATERIALS AND COMPONENTS THAT THEY PURCHASE TO MAKE THEIR PRODUCTS;

TO PROMOTE PARTNERSHIPS OR STRATEGIC ALLIANCES BETWEEN THE BUSINESSES OF THE REGION TO AID IN THE COMMERCIALIZATION OF THEIR PRODUCTS AND SERVICES; AND

TO MAINTAIN STRONG OPPOSITION, AT ALL LEVELS OF THE PRIVATE AND PUBLIC SECTORS IN THE UNITED STATES AND MEXICO, TO THE IMPOSITION OF NEW TARIFF AND NON-TARIFF TRADE BARRIERS WHICH ARE INTENDED TO CIRCUMVENT THE PROVISIONS OF NAFTA AND TO ENACT PROTECTIONIST MEASURES AGAINST SPECIFIC PRODUCTS AND INDUSTRIES.

AGRIBUSINESS

TO SUPPORT THE IMPLMENTATION OF COOPERATIVE PROGRAMS FOR THE IMPROVEMENT OF LIVESTOCK HEALTH SUCH AS:

TO ELIMINATE FINANCIAL IMPEDIMENTS TO INCREASED CROSS-BORDER AGRICULTURE INVESTMENTS BY ENCOURAGING MEXICAN LENDING INSTITUTIONS TO ENHANCE FUNDING AVAILABILITY REQUIREMENTS (COLLATERAL/INTEREST RATES) FOR PARTICIPANTS IN THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE GSM-103 PROGRAM TO ASSIST WITH THE REPOPULATION OF MEXICAN CATTLE HERDS;

TO DISCOURAGE UNSCIENTIFIC ANIMAL/PLANT REQUIREMENTS THAT HINDER TRADE BY REQUESTING THAT:

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

TO ENCOURAGE THE DIALOGUE BETWEEN GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS OF BOTH COUNTRIES WHO HAVE RESPONSIBILITY IN THE AREA OF AGRIBUSINESS, AS WELL AS AGRICULTURE AND LIVESTOCK ASSOCIATIONS FROM BOTH SIDES OF THE BORDER, TO PROMOTE A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF ISSUES THAT HAVE AN ECONOMIC IMPACT ON THE INDUSTRY; AND

TO PROMOTE THE DEVELOPMENT OF ALLIANCES BETWEEN AGRICULTURE AND LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS FROM BOTH SIDES OF THE BORDER TO MAXIMIZE THE ADVANTAGES BROUGH FORTH BY NAFTA.

SALTILLO, COAHUILA., JUNE 6, 1997

XV Conference Signatures