Carlos Manuel Sada New Mexican Ambassador

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The Ambassador participated in the discussion “MEXICO-U.S. RELATIONS TODAY AND TOMORROW: THE CASE OF ARIZONA” presented by the McCain institute and the Phoenix committee on Foreign relations.

JOSE CARDENAS: AS THE U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN PROGRESSED AND THE RHETORIC ABOUT MEXICO BECAME A POLITICAL ISSUE, THE GOVERNMENT OF MEXICO CONFIRMED CARLOS MANUEL SADA AS ITS AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED STATES BACK IN APRIL. THE AMBASSADOR PARTICIPATED 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. I SPOKE TO AMBASSADOR SADA ON ARIZONA HORIZON.

JOSE CARDENAS: MR. AMBASSADOR, WELCOME TO HORIZON.

CARLOS MANUEL SADA: THANK YOU SO MUCH.

JOSE CARDENAS: IT IS AN INTERESTING TIME TO BE IN ARIZONA. THE DAY AFTER THE ELECTION I LOOKED AT YOUR TWITTER ACCOUNT AND YOU SENT A MESSAGE CONGRATULATING THE UNITED STATES ON ITS ELECTORAL PROCESS AND EXPECTING HOPE FOR CO-OPERATION IN THE BILATERAL RELATIONS. I KNOW IT WAS A SINCERE MESSAGE BUT YOU MUST HAVE HAD MIXED EMOTIONS.

CARLOS MANUEL SADA: AS A REPRESENT OF MEXICO AND DIFFERENT COUNTRIES AND PLACES WE ARE ALWAYS TO WORK WITH THE AUTHORITIES THAT THE PEOPLE AND COUNTRIES DECIDE. AND WE DON'T HAVE A PREFERENCE WE MAKE CONTACTS WITH WHOEVER IS ELECTED IN THE CASE OF THE UNITED STATES WE ARE READY TO START WORKING WITH MR. TRUMP AND HIS CABINET AND WHOEVER HAS BEEN APPOINTED TO SERVE IN DIFFERENT CAPACITIES. THAT IS OUR ROLE AND WE WILL CONTINUE TO DO SO.

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

CARLOS MANUEL SADA: YEAH, THE VERY NEXT DAY HE HAD A CONVERSATION WITH MR. TRUMP AND WE ARE CONTINUING TO DEVELOPMENT THE CONTACTS AND AS LONG AS WE ARE TALKING TO THE PEOPLE DIRECTLY SERVING TO HIM

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

CARLOS MANUEL SADA: WE TRIED TO HAVE THE BEST OF THE RELATIONSHIP WHEN WE WERE POSTED. IN THIS CASE WE HAVE THE OBLIGATION OF CONTACTING BOTH TEAMS. THE TEAM OF MR. AND MS. HILLARY CLINTON AND THE TEAM OF MR. TRUMP. SO 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 BRIDGES WITH THE CANDIDATES. I KNOW THAT MY APPOINTMENT WAS IN THE MILD OF THE POLITICAL CAMPAIGN BUT AS I ARRIVED WE STARTED TO DEVELOP A RELATIONSHIP WITH THE TWO TEAMS.

JOSE CARDENAS: ALSO, THERE WAS AN EFFORT, I'VE SEEN SOME OF THE VIDEOS, TO EDUCATE THE AMERICAN POPULOUS ABOUT THE RELATIONSHIP WITH MEXICO AND MAYBE END THE MYTHS THAT HAD BEEN SPREADING. TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THAT.

CARLOS MANUEL SADA: THERE IS DISTORTION AND MISINTERPRETATION AND MISUNDERSTANDING OF THE ROLE MEXICO PLAYS WITH THE UNITED STATES. WE ARE OF COURSE NEIGHBORS AND FRIENDS BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY SO WE ARE STRATEGIC ALLIES AND WE ARE ONE OF THE BEST PARTNERS OF THE UNITED STATES. SO HOW TO POSITION THAT MESSAGE IN THE MINDS OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE SO THAT THEY UNDERSTAND THE DEPTHNESS OF THESE RELATIONSHIPS. WE REPRESENT 15% OF ALL THE EXPORTS OF THE UNITED STATES. 15% OF THEM GO TO MEXICO. AND WHEN WE HAVE A BILATERAL TRADE IT REPRESENTS 1.5 BILLION DOLLARS. WHEN THERE IS A COMMUNITY ALONG THE BORDER THAT EVERYDAY CROSSES THAT BORDER AND ONE MILLION PEOPLE, 370,000 CARS AND TRUCKS CROSS THE BORDER. IT IS A MATTER OF GOING TO THE BORDER TO SEE HOW THE TOWNS ALONG THE BORDER HAVE BEEN TRANSFORMED. I HAVE BEEN AT THE BORDER FOR THE LAST FEW YEARS AND I HAVE SEEN HOW SMALL TINY VILLAGES HAVE BEEN TRANSFORMED. THE NUMBER OF WAREHOUSES AND TRAILERS MOVING BACK AND FORTH AND THE NEW ITEMS EXPEDITING TRADE IN MEXICO IS WHAT I SEE AND WE WANT TO PROJECT HOW RELEVANT THAT RELATIONSHIP IS.

JOSE CARDENAS: AND I KNOW THAT IS A FUNDAMENTAL PART OF YOUR VISIT TO ARIZONA. WE WANT TO TALK ABOUT WHAT YOU HAVE BEEN DOING IN NOGALES, TUCSON AND NOW IN PHOENIX. BEFORE WE GET THERE, THE PRESIDENT ELECT MADE MEXICO A PARTICULAR FOCUS OF HIS CAMPAIGN AND IN PARTICULAR TALKED ABOUT BUILDING A WALL AND RENEGOTIATING NAFTA. I'D LIKE TO TALK FIRST ABOUT THE WALL, PRETTY CONTROVERSIAL POST-ELECTION COMMENTS. HE REITERATED HE INTENDS TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE WALL. WHAT IS MEXICO'S VIEW ON THAT AND THE LIKELIHOOD IF THAT WILL OCCUR AND THE FAMOUS QUESTION IF MEXICO WILL PAY FOR THE WALL?

CARLOS MANUEL SADA: WE LIKE VERY MUCH TO BUILD BRIDGES AND THAT IS WHAT THE MEXICO PEOPLE DECIDED. IN THE SENSE OF HOW TO STRENGTHEN THE RELATIONSHIP, THE RELATIONSHIP IS IMPROVED IF YOU CONTINUE BUILDING BRIDGES OF COMMUNICATION AND BRIDGES BETWEEN THE TWO SOCIETIES. THAT IS OUR APPROACH AND THAT IS WHY MEXICO DECIDED SOME YEARS AGO TO BECOME AN INTERNATIONAL PLAYER, A GLOBAL ACTOR, BY SIGNING AGREEMENTS WITH 46 NATIONS IN THE WORLD. THAT IS WHAT OUR APPROACH AND WE WILL CONTINUE TO DO SO AS WE SIGN AN AGREEMENT WITH TURKEY AND ANOTHER ONE WITH ROMANIA AND ANOTHER WITH BRAZIL. THAT IS OUR APPROACH. IF YOU ASK ME WOULD WE LIKE TO HAVE WALL AND I WOULD SAY NO, WE WOULD NOT LIKE A WALL. IS MEXICO GOING TO PAY FOR IT? NO, MEXICO IS NOT GOING TO PAY FOR IT. THAT IS A MIXED STATEMENT WE CONTINUE TO SAY BECAUSE THAT WAS WHAT THE PRESIDENT SAID AND WHAT HE TOLD MR. TRUMP WHEN HE VISITED AND DIFFERENT PEOPLE HAVE MENTIONED AND I HAVE MENTIONED THIS IS SOMETHING MEXICO IS NOT GOING TO DO.

JOSE CARDENAS: WHAT ABOUT NAFTA? UNLIKE THE WALL WHICH MANY PEOPLE THINK IT IS NOT REALISTIC THAT IT WILL BE BUILT AND CERTAINLY THAT MEXICO WILL PAY FOR IT. NAFTA IS SOMETHING UNDER THE PRIVY OF THE PRESIDENT AND HE PROBABLY DOESN'T NEED CONGRESSIONAL APPROVAL HE SAID HE WILL RENEGOTIATE IT OR TEAR IT UP. YOUR VIEWS?

CARLOS MANUEL SADA: NAFTA IS A TRILATERAL AGREEMENT AND IT IS AN AGREEMENT WITH THE SIGNING OF MR. TRUMP BUT AT THE SAME TIME, WE FEEL NAFTA IS NOT WELL UNDERSTOOD WHAT BENEFITS IT HAS CREATED FOR THE WHOLE REGION. WHEN I MENTION THE WHOLE REGION, IT IS MEXICO, UNITED STATES AND CANADA. THAT IS FUNDAMENTAL BECAUSE WE DO NOT WANT TO LOSE WHAT WE HAVE GAINED AND WHAT HAVE WE GAINED? A REPUTATION FOR BEING ONE OF THE MOST, IF NOT THE MOST, COMPETITIVE REGIONS IN THE WORLD. THAT IS WHY WE KEPT ATTRACTING INVESTMENT IN MEXICO AND WHY THE UNITED STATES KEEPS ATTRACTING INVESTMENT FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD. THAT IS THE REASON. AND THAT IS THE ARGUMENT THAT WE WANT THE PUBLIC OF THE UNITED STATES TO UNDERSTAND WELL. WE ARE NOT THE ENEMIES WE ARE NEIGHBORS, WE ARE PARTNERS. WE ARE A STRATEGIC ALLIANCE AND WE ARE, OF COURSE, FRIENDS. THIS RELATIONSHIP HAS BEEN BUILT FOR A LONG TIME. IT IS NOT NEW. IT HAS BEEN GENERATION AFTER GENERATION THAT HAVE BEEN IN THIS PROCESS OF TRUSTING EACH OTHER AND SINCE NAFTA, I THINK, WE HAVE BENEFITED BECAUSE THEY ARE FINDING JOBS AND CREATING JOBS IN THE UNITED STATES BECAUSE OF NAFTA AND ARIZONA IS A GREAT EXAMPLE. 40% OF TOTAL EXPORTS FROM ARIZONA GO TO MEXICO AND THERE IS A RENEWED INTEREST IN ARIZONA OPEN IN MEXICO FOR WHAT TRADE COMES FROM MEXICO. THE SAME IS TRUE WITH 23, 24 STATES OF THE UNITED STATES OUT OF THE 50. ALL THESE STATES, NUMBER ONE, SECOND OR THIRD PARTNER. IT IS NOT EUROPE OR ASIA BUT IT IS A COUNTRY CALLED MEXICO.

JOSE CARDENAS: DO YOU ANTICIPATE MEXICO WILL ENTER INTO NEGOTIATIONS REGARDING REVISIONS?

CARLOS MANUEL SADA: WE SAID WE WOULD LIKE TO MODERNIZE NAFTA AND WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? TPP WAS SEEN FROM OUR PERSPECTIVE AS A WAY OF MODERNIZING NAFTA.

JOSE CARDENAS: YOU ARE REFERRING TO THE TRANSPACIFIC PARTNERSHIP?

CARLOS MANUEL SADA: YES. AND NOW THEY ARE NEGOTIATING TPP IN THE SENATE AND HOPEFULLY WE HAVE ENOUGH TO MOVE FORWARD IN WHATEVER TPP PUBLIC PERSPECTIVE IS AND WE HAVE BEEN NEGOTIATING AND TALKING WITH 11 OTHER COUNTRIES THAT ARE PART OF NAFTA, NAFTA IS 12 MEMBERS. IN THE UNITED STATES, THERE IS NO WAY WE ARE GOING TO DECIDE WHAT ELEMENTS OF TPP ARE CONVENIENT FOR US IF IT IS THE CASE FOR INSTANCE, WE HAVE NOT HAD A TRADE DEAL WITH JAPAN OR AUSTRALIA OR NEW ZEALAND, WHAT ARE THEY PREPARED TO OFFER? WE CAN HAVE THE ELEMENTS OF TPP IN THE TABLE FOR MODERNIZING NAFTA.

JOSE CARDENAS: LET ME ASK YOU ABOUT IMMIGRATION BECAUSE THAT WAS THE OTHER BIG ISSUE IN THE CAMPAIGN. THERE HAVE BEEN REPORTS OF MEXICO PREPARING IN THE EVENT THAT PRESIDENT ELECT TRUMP FOLLOWS THROUGH ON THIS PLAN TO DEPORT MILLIONS OF MEXICANS HERE WITHOUT PAPERS. WHAT CAN YOU SAY ABOUT THAT?

CARLOS MANUEL SADA: WELL, YES, WE HAVE A STRUCTURAL OF 50 CONSULATES IN THE UNITED STATES AND THERE IS A UNIQUE CASE AND IT IS BECAUSE THERE ARE PERSONS OF MEXICAN COMMUNITY BUT THERE ARE BREACHES BETWEEN OUR REPRESENTATIVES AND LOCAL AUTHORITIES AND LOCAL BUSINESS PEOPLE AND LOCAL MEDIA. SO THE LAST ONE WE WERE HOPING FOR WAS WITH A SPECIAL REQUEST OF ELECTED PEOPLE IN A STATE OF WISCONSIN. WE SERVE WITH PURPOSE. AND WITHIN THE CONSULATE IS THE AREA THAT IS CALLED THE DEPARTMENT OF PROTECTION IN ORDER TO HELP OUR PEOPLE AS YOU KNOW THE REPRESENTATION OF MEXICO ARE MAINLY FOR PROTECTING THE INTEREST OF OUR PEOPLE. THIS GIVES US AN IMAGE OF IMMIGRATION AND THAT IS PEOPLE SHOULD BE CALM AND WE ARE HERE TO HELP THEM. WE CANNOT ANTICIPATE WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN BECAUSE THERE IS A LOT OF ELEMENTS BUT WE ARE READY TO ACHIEVE EVERY ELEMENT. WE ARE HERE TO PROTECT IT BEST INTEREST OF OUR COMMUNITY. YESTERDAY, I MET WITH THE HEAD OF THE SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY BUT MAINLY SO WITH BORDER PATROL AND TALKING ABOUT THE SITUATION WITH OUR COMMUNITY, HOW THEY ARE BEING TREATED, AND WE HAVE BEEN DOING THIS FOR LONG TIME. IT IS NOT NEW. WE HAVE DEVELOPED MECHANISMS ALONG WITH THE AUTHORITIES HERE TO COMMUNICATE AND TO TALK OPENLY AND TO DISCUSS A STRATEGY SO WE WILL PUT IT ON THE TABLE ONCE WE KNOW WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN.

JOSE CARDENAS: I WANT TO TALK ABOUT YOUR VISIT TO ARIZONA BUT BEFORE I DO THAT ONE LAST QUESTION ON IMMIGRATION. FOR THE THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE IN THE UNITED STATES WHO MAY IN MAJOR OF LOOSING THEIR DACA STATUS WHAT SOURCES OF INFORMATION CAN THEY ACCESS?

CARLOS MANUEL SADA: WE HAVE DEVELOPED IN THIS LAST MONTH NEW APPROACHES IN THE SENSE OF GETTING BETTER WAYS OF INFORMING PEOPLE NOT ONLY BECAUSE THEY ARE GOING TO MEXICO NOT NECESSARILY BUT THEY ARE HERE AND IT IS LIKE A CALL CENTER PRECISELY IN TUCSON WITH 40, 50 PEOPLE ANSWERING THE PHONE. AND ANOTHER ONE IS 24/7. VERY IMPORTANT YOU MENTION THIS BECAUSE WE DO NOT WANT PEOPLE THAT ARE BEING CONFUSED WE WANT THEM TO HAVE PROPER AND SOLID INFORMATION FROM US. WE DON'T WANT PEOPLE TO SPECULATE AND PEOPLE TO GET INTO THE HANDS OF SOMEONE WHO MAKES A PROFIT OFF THEIR VULNERABILITY. WE ARE MOVING FORWARD WITH WHAT WE CALL CONSULATE ON WHEELS SO WE BRING THE SERVICES TO WHERE THE PEOPLE ARE. THIS IS SOMETHING WE HAVE BEEN DOING FOR SEVERAL YEARS IN DIFFERENT LOCATIONS. BUT NOW MORE IMPORTANTLY SO. SO WE TRY TO GET UP FRONT IN THE SAME WAY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF PROTECTIONS IN THE CONSULATES WE HAVE THE LAWYERS THAT CARE THAT DUE PROCESS IS BEING FOLLOWED BY ANY PERSON IN THE PROCESS OF BEING DEPORTED.

JOSE CARDENAS: MR. AMBASSADOR, WE ARE ALMOST OUT OF TIME AND I APOLOGIZE FOR THAT. ABOUT YOUR MESSAGE TO ARIZONA, QUICKLY, IN JUST A SHORT FEW WORDS, WHAT IS THE MESSAGE?

CARLOS MANUEL SADA: I'VE BEEN IMPRESSED WITH WHAT I HAVE SEEN IN ARIZONA, I HAVEN'T BEEN HERE FOR A WHILE, AND THE MESSAGE OF THE PEOPLE IS REALLY SEEING MEXICO AS AN ALTERNATIVE. 40% OF ARIZONA TRADE GOES TO MEXICO AND THE MENTALITY OF PEOPLE IN ARIZONA, THE MAYOR AND BUSINESS COMMUNITY, IS CONNECTED TO MEXICO EVERY DAY MORE AND MORE PEOPLE FROM THE ARIZONA BUSINESS CAPACITY ARE TRYING TO DEVELOP NEW JOBS, NEW BUSINESSES TOGETHER. THAT IS THE MESSAGE BUT ALSO NOT JUST WITH ARIZONA BUT ALL THE BORDER STATES, BACK AND FORTH HERE. SO IT IS A VERY POSITIVE ATTITUDE THAT WE HAVE TO COMMUNICATE. THAT IS MY CHALLENGE. HOW TO COMMUNICATE THAT WE SHOULD CONTINUE TO DO BUSINESS IN THE UNITED STATES AND THAT THIS IS THE MOST COMPETITIVE AND SAFE AND PRODUCTIVE REGION IN THE WORLD.

JOSE CARDENAS: I THINK YOU HAVE COMMUNICATED YOUR ENTHUSIASM AND WE THANK YOU FOR JOINING US ON HORIZON.

CARLOS MANUEL SADA: THANK YOU SO MUCH. APPRECIATE IT.

JOSE CARDENAS: REMEMBER TO WATCH PREVIOUS EPISODES OR TO SEE WHAT'S COMING UP ON HORIZONTE GO TO OUR WEBSITE AZPBS.ORG/HORIZONTE THAT'S OUR SHOW FOR TONIGHT. THANK YOU FOR WATCHING. FROM ALL OF US HERE AT HORIZONTE AND YOUR ARIZONA P B S STATION. I'M JOSE CARDENAS, HAVE A GOOD NIGHT. CLOSED CAPTION PRODUCTIONS WWW.CCPRODUCTIONS.COM 844 335 0911 "HORIZONTE" IS MADE POSSIBLE BY CONTRIBUTIONS FROM THE FRIENDS OF ARIZONA PBS, MEMBERS OF YOUR PBS STATION. THANK YOU.

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