Mexican Ambassador to U.S.

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The new ambassador from Mexico to the U.S. was named to his post in April in response to President-elect Donald Trump’s disparaging remarks about Mexican immigrants in the U.S. after a lackluster response by the previous ambassador. Carlos Sada Solana will talk about his role in the era of a Trump presidency.

COMING UP NEXT ON "ARIZONA HORIZON," WE'LL TALK TO THE NEW MEXICAN AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED STATES ABOUT THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN U.S. AND MEXICO, IMMIGRATION, AND OTHER ISSUES. AND, LEARN ABOUT A PROGRAM IN MARICOPA COUNTY THAT'S PARTNERING WITH PEOPLE IN THE COMMUNITY TO HELP VETERANS RE-ENTER INTO EVERYDAY LIFE. THOSE STORIES NEXT, ON "ARIZONA MADE POSSIBLE BY THE FRIENDS OF PBS. THANK YOU.

JOSE CARDENAS: GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO "ARIZONA HORIZON," I'M JOSE CARDENAS IN TONIGHT FOR TED SIMONS. AS THE U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN PROGRESSED AND THE RHETORIC ABOUT MEXICO BECAME A POLITICAL ISSUE, THE GOVERNMENT OF MEXICO CONFIRMED CARLOS SADA AS ITS AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED STATES IN APRIL. SADA SOLANA HAS BEEN CONSUL GENERAL IN LOS ANGELES FOR THREE YEARS AND PREVIOUSLY SERVED AT MEXICAN CONSULATES IN CHICAGO, NEW YORK, TORONTO, AND SAN ANTONIO. THE AMBASSADOR IS PARTICIPATING IN A DISCUSSION ON "MEXICO-U.S. RELATIONS TODAY AND TOMORROW: THE CASE OF ARIZONA" PRESENTED BY THE MCCAIN INSTITUTE AND THE PHOENIX COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS. JOINING ME NOW IS MEXCAN AMBASSADOR CARLOS MANUEL SADA SOLANA. MR. AMBASSADOR. WELCOME TO HORIZON. THIS IS AN INTERESTING TIME TO BE IN ARIZONA. THE DAY AFTER THE ELECTION YOUR TWITTER ACCOUNT SENT A CONGRATULATIONS TO THE UNITED STATES AND HOPE FOR COOPERATION. I KNOW IT WAS A SINCERE MESSAGE, BUT YOU MUST HAVE HAD MIXED EMOTIONS?

CARLOS SADA: AS A REPRESENTATIVE OF MEXICO AND OTHER PLACES, WE ARE ALWAYS TO WORK WITH THE AUTHORITIES THAT BOTH OF THE COUNTRIES DECIDE. AND IT IS THE CASE THAT WE DON'T HAVE PREFERENCES. WE MAKE CONTACT WHOEVER IS ELECTED IN THE CASE OF THE UNITED STATES. WE ARE READY TO START WORKING WITH MR. TRUMP AND HIS CABINET AND WHOEVER IS APPOINTED FOR SERVING IN DIFFERENT CAPACITY. WE CONTINUE TO DO SO.

JOSE CARDENAS: I KNOW A NUMBER OF FOREIGN LEADERS HAVE BEEN IN CONTACT WITH THE PRESIDENT ELECT. HAS THE PRESIDENT TALKED TO PRESIDENT ELECT TRUMP?

CARLOS SADA: YES, THE NEXT DAY THEY HAD A TELEPHONE CONVERSATION WITH MR. TRUMP TO DEVELOP CONTACTS AS LONG AS THEY ARE APPOINTING THE PEOPLE SERVING WITH HIM.

JOSE CARDENAS: NOW THE EVENTS THAT LED UP TO YOUR APPOINTMENT REFLECTED DIFFICULTIES, OR AT LEAST STATEMENTS BY THE NOW PRESIDENT ELECT ABOUT MEXICO THAT MADE MEXICO FEEL THEY NEEDED TO IMPROVE THEIR IMAGE IN THE UNITED STATES AND TO COUNTER WHAT WAS VIEWED BY DAMAGE BY MR. TRUMP AND HIS COMMENTS. THERE WAS A MARKETING CAMPAIGN ISSUE. HOW DID THAT GO? WHAT IS YOUR ASSESSMENT OF THE IMPACT?

CARLOS SADA: WE TRY TO HAVE THE BEST OF THE RELATIONSHIP WHEN WE ARE POSTED. IN THIS CASE, WE HAVE THE OBLIGATION, THE RESPONSIBILITY OF CONTACTING BOTH TEAMS, THE TEAM MR. TRUMP. WE DO NOT COME HERE TO INTERPRET OR TO HAVE A POSITION, BUT RATHER TO UNDERSTAND WHAT IS HAPPENING, AND TO TRY TO BUILD THE CONNECTIONS AND THE BRIDGES WITH THIS CASE TWO CANDIDATES. I KNOW THAT MY APPOINTMENT WAS IN THE MIDDLE OF ALL OF THIS, A POLITICAL CAMPAIGN. I ARRIVED, STARTED WITH RELATIONSHIP WITH TWO TEAMS.

CARLOS SADA: THERE WAS AN EFFORT, I HAVE SEEN SOME OF THE VIDEOS, TO EDUCATE THE AMERICAN POPULACE ABOUT THE RELATIONSHIP WITH MEXICO AND DIPOSE SOME OF THE MYTHS THAT HAD BEEN SAID. TALK ABOUT THAT.

CARLOS SADA: THAT'S TRUE. THERE IS DISTORTION, AND MISINTERPRETATION AND MISUNDERSTANDING OF THE ROLE THAT MEXICO PLAYS WITH THE UNITED STATES. WE ARE NEIGHBORS. WE ARE FRIENDS. MORE IMPORTANTLY, WE ARE STRATEGIC ALLIES AND ONE OF THE BEST PARTNERS CURRENTLY SPEAKING, SO HOW TO POSITION THAT MESSAGE IN THE MINDS OF AMERICAN PEOPLE SO THAT THEY UNDERSTAND THE DEPTH OF THE RELATIONSHIP, WE REPRESENT 15% OF THE EXPORTS OF THE UNITED STATES, 15% OF THEM GO TO MEXICO. WHEN WE HAVE A BUY LATERAL TRADE, EVERYDAY, IT'S $1.5 BILLION. WHEN THERE IS A COMMUNITY ALONG THE BORDER THAT EVERYDAY CROSSES THAT BORDER, 1,000,000 PEOPLE, AND THE 370,000 CARS AND TRUCKS GO TO THE BORDER TO SEE HOW THE TOWNS ALONG THE BORDER HAVE BEEN TRANSFORMED. BASICALLY THE BORDER FOR THE LAST FEW YEARS, AND I HAVE SEEN HOW SMALL TINY VILLAGES HAVE TRANSFORMED. THIS IS WHAT I SAW YESTERDAY, HOW THE NUMBER OF WAREHOUSES, TRAILERS, MOVING BACK AND FORTH AND THE NEW APPROACHES AND NEW EXPEDITING OF TRADE. THAT'S WHAT I WANT TO SEE. THAT'S WHAT WE WANT TO PROJECT, HOW VALUABLE THE RELATIONSHIP WITH MEXICO IS.

JOSE CARDENAS: THAT'S A FUNDAMENTAL PART OF YOUR VISIT. BEFORE WE GET THERE, THE PRESIDENT ELECT MADE MEXICO A FOCUS OF HIS CAMPAIGN AND TALKED ABOUT BUILDING A WALL, AND RENEGOTIATING NAFTA. I WANT TO TALK ABOUT THE WALL, CONTROVERSIAL AND HIS POST-ELECTED COMMENTS HE REITERATED HE WANTS TO DO SOMETHING LIKE THAT. WHAT IS MEXICO'S POSITION ON THAT OCCURRING, AND WILL MEXICO PAY FOR THAT?

CARLOS SADA: MEXICO LIKES TO BUILD BRIDGES. THAT'S WHAT THE PEOPLE OF MEXICO ENTRUST. IN TERMS IN HOW TO STRENGTHEN THE RELATIONSHIP, AND THE RELATIONSHIP IS CONTINUED IF YOU HAVE BRIDGES OF COMMUNICATION AND BRIDGES BETWEEN THE SOCIETIES. THAT'S OUR APPROACH. MEXICO DECIDED TO BECOME AN INTERNATIONAL PLAYER, GLOBAL ACTOR SIGNING AGREEMENTS WITH 46 NATIONS IN THE WORLD. THAT'S THE APPROACH. WE CONTINUE TO DO SO. AS WE SPEAK WE HAVE A AGREEMENT WITH TURKEY AND JOR DANE YA AND BRAZIL. THAT TEASE OUR APPROACH. IF YOU ASK ME DO YOU LIKE TO HAVE A WALL? NO. IS MEXICO GOING TO PAY FOR IT? NO. MEXICO IS NOT GOING TO PAY FOR IT. THAT IS THE STATEMENT THAT WE'LL CONTINUE TO DO. THAT IS WHAT WE SAID TO MR. TRUMP WHEN HE CAME TO MEXICO. I HAVE MENTIONED THIS IS SOMETHING THAT MEXICO IS CLEAR THAT WE ARE NOT GOING TO PAY FOR THE WALL.
JOSE CARDENAS: NOW WHAT ABOUT NAFTA, PEOPLE THINK ITS NOT VERY REALISTIC THAT IT WILL ACTUALLY BE BUILT AND THAT MEXICO WILL PAY FOR IT. NAFTA IS SOMETHING THAT COMES WITHIN THE PER VIEW OF THE PRESIDENT. HE SAID HE WILL RENEGOTIATE IT OR TEAR IT UP. YOUR VIEWS ON THIS?

CARLOS SADA: NAFTA IS A TRY LATERAL AGREEMENT, A NEGOTIATION WITH SIGNING OF PRESIDENT TRUMP. AT THE SAME TIME, WE FEEL THAT NAFTA IS NOT WELL UNDERSTOOD WHAT BENEFITS HAVE CREATED FOR THE WHOLE REGION. WHEN I MENTION THE REGION, IT IS MEXICO, UNITED STATES AND CANADA. WE DON'T WANT TO LOSE WHAT WE HAVE GAINED, AND WHAT HAVE WE GAINED? OUR REPUTATION WORLDWIDE TO BE ONE OF THE MOST, IF NOT THEE MOST COMPETITIVE REGION IN THE WORLD. THAT'S WHY WE KEEP ATTRACTING INVESTMENT IN THE MEXICO AND THE UNITED STATES ATTRACTS INVESTMENT FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD. THAT IS WHAT WE WANT THE PUBLIC OF THE UNITED STATES TO UNDERSTAND WELL. WE ARE NOT THE ENEMY. WE ARE NEIGHBORS, PARTNERS, STRATEGIC ALLIES AND FRIENDS. THIS IS THE IMAGE WE WANT TO BE SENT. THIS RELATIONSHIP HAS BEEN BUILT FOR long. IT'S GENERATION AFTER GENERATION IN THIS PROCESS OF TRUSTING EACH OTHER. SINCE NAFTA, WE HAVE BENEFIT. THERE ARE 5,000,000 JOBS CREATED IN THE UNITED STATES. ARIZONA IS A GOOD EXAMPLE. 40% OF EXPORTS GO TO MEXICO. THERE IS A RENEWED OPENING IN ARIZONA FOR MEXICO SEEING IT THROUGH WITH THE 33 STATES OUT OF THE 50. ALL OF THESE STATES, NUMBER ONE, SECOND OR THIRD PARTNER IS NOT EUROPE OR ASIA. IT IS A CONTINENT VERY CLOSE CALLED MEXICO.

JOSE CARDENAS: DO YOU EXPECT MEXICO WILL REENTER INTO NEGOTIATIONS REGARDING A REVISION?

CARLOS SADA: WELL WE HAVE SAID THAT MR TRUMP CURRENT IS THAT WE WOULD LIKE TO MODERNIZE. WHAT DO WE MEAN BY MODERNIZE? ATP WAS SEEN FROM OUR PERSPECTIVE OF MODERINIZING NAFTA. MEXICO AS WE SPEAK IS NOW NEGOTIATING NAFTA IN THE SENATE THE TRANCE PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP WAS A WAY OF REORGANIZING NAFTA. TPP IN THE SENATE HAS BEEN DEBATED AND HOPEFULLY SOON WE HAVE THE ORGANIZATION OF MEXICO TO MOVE FORWARD IN WHATEVER TPP IS FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF MEXICO. WE HAVE BEEN NEGOTIATING AND TALKING WITH THE OTHER 11 COUNTRIES THAT ARE PRESENT IN NAFTA, NAFTA IS 12 MEMBERS. IF THE UNITED STATES SAYS NO WE ARE GOING TO DECIDE WHAT ELEMENTS OF TTP IS CONVENIENT FOR US IF IT'S THE CASE. FOR INSTANCE, WE DON'T HAVE A TRADE DEAL WITH JAPAN, A BIG ONE, OR WITH AUSTRALIA OR NEW ZEALAND. WHAT ARE THEY PREPARED TO OFFER? WE HAVE THE ELEMENTS OF TPP INTO THE TABLE FOR MODERNIZING NAFTA.

JOSE CARDENAS: LET ME ASK YOU ABOUT IMMIGRATION. THAT WAS THE OTHER BIG ISSUE IN THE CAMPAIGN. THERE ARE REPORTS THAT MEXICO IS PREPARING, IF PRESIDENT ELECT TRUMP FOLLOWS THROUGH ON DEPORTING MEXICANS WITHOUT PAPERS. WHAT CAN YOU SAY ABOUT THAT?

CARLOS SADA: WE HAVE 50 CONSULATES IN THE UNITED STATES. THAT IS A UNIQUE CASE BECAUSE THERE IS THE PRESENCE OF MEXICAN COMMUNITY. THERE ARE BREACHES BETWEEN OUR REPRESENTATIVES AND LOCAL AUTHORITIES AND LOCAL BUSINESS AUTHORITIES AND LOCAL MEDIA PEOPLE. THE LAST ONE WAS IN MILWAUKEE BECAUSE THERE WAS A SPECIAL REQUEST THAT ARE CONNECTED TO THE PEOPLE IN THE STATE OF WISCONSIN. WE SERVE A PURPOSE. WE HAVE AN AREA THAT IS CALLED THE DEPARTMENT OF PROTECTION IN ORDER TO HELP OUR PEOPLE. WE ARE PROTECTING THE INTEREST OF OUR PEOPLE. WE HAVE AN IMAGE REGARDING IMMIGRATION IS THAT PEOPLE SHOULD BE CALM. WE ARE HERE TO HELP THEM. WE CANNOT ANTICIPATE SO FAR WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN BECAUSE THERE IS NOT A SPECIFIC ELEMENT. WE ARE READY TO TRIGGER WHATEVER MECHANISM IS POSSIBLE TO DO SO WHERE PEOPLE IN ORDER TO PROTECT THE BEST INTEREST YESTERDAY WAS HEAD OF SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY AND BORDER PATROL DISCUSSING THE SITUATION WITH THE COMMUNITY AND HOW THEY ARE TREATED. WE HAVE BEEN DOING THIS LONG NOT NEW. WE HAVE BEEN WORKING WITH THE AUTHORITIES HERE TO COMMUNICATE AND TALK OPENLY AND DISCUSS STRATEGY. SO THAT IS SOMETHING WE'LL PUT ON THE TABLE ONCE WE KNOW WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN.
JOSE CARDENAS: I WANT TO TALK ABOUT YOUR VISIT TO ARIZONA BUT FIRST ONE LAST QUESTION. TO THOSE THAT ARE IN DANGER OF LOSING THEIR DACA STATUS. YOU HAVE A PROGRAM WITH YOU. WHAT ARE THEIR SOURCES OF INFORMATION THEY CAN ACCESS?

CARLOS SADA: WE HAVE DEVELOPED IN THE LAST MONTH NEW APPROACHES OF GETTING BETTER WAYS OF INFORMING PEOPLE. NOT ONLY BECAUSE THEY ARE GOING TO MEXICO NOT NECESSARILY, BUT THEY ARE HERE. IT'S LIKE A CALL CENTER, THERE IS IN TUCSON 40 TO 50 PEOPLE ANSWERING THE PHONES PERMANENTLY. THERE IS AN 800 NUMBER 24/7. WE DON'T WANT PEOPLE THAT ABUSED OF THE SITUATION OF MIGRANTS. WE WANT THEM TO HAVE A PROPER AND SOLID INFORMATION FROM US, SO WE DON'T WANT PEOPLE TO SPECULATE. WE DON'T WANT OUR PEOPLE TO GET INTO THE HANDS OF SOMEBODY THAT MAKES A PROFIT OUT OF THEIR SITUATION IN THEIR VULNERABILITY. APART FROM THAT, WE HAVE THE CONFLICT OF WILLS SO WE BRING THE SERVICES TO WHERE THE PEOPLE ARE. THIS IS SOMETHING WE HAVE BEEN DOING FOR SEVERAL YEARS IN DIFFERENT LOCATIONS. NOW MORE IMPORTANTLY SO. WE TRY TO BE UP FRONT, AND THE SAME IN CONFLICTS, WE HAVE LAWYERS THAT WILL TAKE CARE THAT DUE PROCESS IS FOLLOWED BY ANY PERSON BEING DEPORTED IF THAT IS THE CASE.

JOSE CARDENAS: MR. AMBASSADOR, WE ARE ALMOST OUT OF TIME. CLEARLY, YOUR MESSAGE TO ARIZONA. YOU WILL BE TALKING ABOUT THE ARIZONA/MEXICO RELATIONSHIP. WHAT IS THE MESSAGE?

CARLOS SADA: I AM IMPRESSED WHAT I HAVE SEEN IN ARIZONA. I HAVE NOT BEEN HERE IN A WHILE. THE MESSAGE IS THAT PEOPLE HERE SEE MEXICO AS AN ALTERNATIVE. 40% OF ARIZONA TRADE GOES TO MEXICO. THE MENTALITY, THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY IS CONNECTED TO MEXICO. EVERYDAY THEY TRY TO DEVELOP NEW JOBS AND BUSINESSES TOGETHER. ALSO, IT'S NOT JUST HAPPENING WITH ARIZONA BUT ALSO IN THE STATES. IT'S A VERY POSITIVE ATTITUDE THAT WE HAVE TO COMMUNICATE. THAT IS MY CHALLENGE, HOW TO COMMUNICATE EXISTING TO CONTINUE DOING BUSINESS IN THE UNITED STATES AND MEXICO AND PROJECTING IN THE REGION, THE MOST COMPETITIVE REGION IN THE WORLD, A SAFE, PRODUCTIVE MEXICO IS IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE UNITED STATES AS WELL.

JOSE CARDENAS: I THINK YOU HAVE COMMUNICATED YOUR ENTHUSIASM. WE APPRECIATE YOU BEING ON HORIZON TO TALK ABOUT.

CARLOS SADA: THANK YOU SO MUCH.

Carlos Manuel Sada Solana - Mexican Ambassador to the U.S.

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