81st Annual Meeting: June 21-24, 2013 in Las Vegas

ADVANCING U.S. METRO ECONOMIC GROWTH THROUGH COLLABORATION AND TRADE IN THE AMERICAS

      WHEREAS, U.S. cities and metropolitan areas are increasingly connected to their counterparts in Mexico and Canada, as well as the rest of Latin America, through economic relationships -- trade, foreign direct investment, migration, educational exchange, and integrated cross-border production of goods within industry clusters; and

      WHEREAS, the economies of the U.S., Mexico, and Canada have never been more intertwined in co-production and trade, generating one-third of total international Gross Domestic Product and exporting over $1.2 trillion in goods to the rest of the world; and

      WHEREAS, value-add in North American export industries like aerospace, automotive, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, electronics, and medical devices occurs in multiple locations across the U.S., Mexico, and Canada, spanning both manufacturing and services; and

      WHEREAS, for example, automobiles produced in North America for export to the rest of the world total $77 billion per year, and auto parts cross a North American national border an average of eight times prior to final assembly; and

      WHEREAS, for example, production of Bombardier’s Learjet 85 involves research and development in Montreal, component manufacturing in Querétaro, and design and assembly Wichita, reflecting distinct specializations of those metropolitan areas; and

      WHEREAS, regional supply chains in advanced industries have united North American metropolitan economies, such that 40% of the content in goods imported to  the U.S. from Mexico was actually made in the U.S., and 25% of the content from Canada, compared to 4% from China; and

      WHEREAS, the population of Latin America exceeds 600 million people, and includes a rapidly urbanizing and growing young middle class with purchasing power, generating increased demand for high-value U.S. products and services to meet consumer and infrastructure needs; and

      WHEREAS, growth in U.S. trade with Latin America historically has outpaced that of all other regions, with an annual trade surplus of more than $12 billion in 2012, and U.S. foreign direct investment in Latin America exceeding $140 billion; and

      WHEREAS, more than half of the 20 existing U.S. Free Trade Agreements are with Latin American countries; and

      WHEREAS, competition for trade with and investment in Latin America is intensifying, evidenced by trade with Asia expanding to 20% of the Latin America total, and China expanding from 1% to 10% of the region’s foreign direct investment over the past decade; and

      WHEREAS, President Obama and President Peña Nieto have established a “High  Level Economic Dialogue” led at the cabinet level “to advance strategic economic and commercial priorities central to promoting economic growth, job creation, and global competitiveness,” such as cooperation on infrastructure, innovation, entrepreneurship, human capital, and other assets; and

      WHEREAS, President Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Harper committed in January 2011, to two initiatives that would reduce barriers to the movement of    people, goods, and  services between the U.S. and Canada – Beyond The Border and The Regulatory Cooperative Council; and

      WHEREAS, mayors and other elected, business, and civic leaders in U.S. cities and metro areas have the local industry knowledge, networks, and capacity to make international trade and investment an integral part of regional economic development efforts; and

      WHEREAS, these U.S. regional leaders have not maximized their potential influence in advancing policies that support the international trade and competitiveness agenda for metro areas in driving national economic growth,

      NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors commits to a priority focus on strengthening international trade in the Americas through its policy and programmatic efforts – both improving the competitiveness of the North American economic platform, and increasing economic linkages with Canadian, and Central and South American metro areas; and

      BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors will seek to advance and advocate specific recommendations addressing topics such as trade facilitation, supply-chain harmonization, infrastructure investment, efficient   movement of goods and people, innovation, and workforce skills; and

      BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors endorses the U.S.-Mexico “High Level Economic Dialogue,” and the U.S.-Canada agreement of January 2011, and urges the  Administration to proactively seek the involvement of sub-national leaders in identifying and exploring policy priorities for        that effort; and

      BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors urges the Administration to help expand opportunities for mayors and their regional partners to engage with sub-national counterparts throughout the Americas, focused  on policy and practice that facilitate commercial connections and shared economic growth.

      Projected Cost:


RESOLUTION ADOPTED JUNE 2013