San Diego Regional Chamber



July 21
Good Government Series with the State of Baja California



Jul 18
San Diego-Panama City Sister Signing Ceremony

Oct 14-16
Border Energy Forum XXII



Paola Avila
Vice President, International Business Affairs


Chanelle Hawken
Vice President,
Public Policy


Sean Karafin
Executive Director,
Policy & Economic Research


Stefanie Benvenuto
Policy Analyst


Mayra Vazquez
International Business Affairs Coordinator


Sophie Barnhorst
Policy Assistant


International Business Affairs Council

Alex Rios, Chair
Louis Escareno
Kurt Honold
Heidy Salum

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July 15, 2015

The Chamber strives to be the leading advocate for business in the Calibaja Region. Here you will find important updates on our legislative efforts from both our Public Policy and International Business Affairs departments.


Chamber Supports Councilmember Cate's
Home-Based Business Proposal

Last month, the Chamber backed Councilmember Chris Cate's home-based business proposal at the San Diego's City Council's Economic Development & Intergovernmental Relations Committee. Currently, if a San Diego resident conducts a small business out of their home and wishes to hire an employee or conduct business transactions on-site, an initial deposit of $5,000 is required to process a Neighborhood Use Permit (NUP). Councilmember Cate's new proposal includes a reduction of the initial NUP deposit, allows home-based business owners to hire a nonresident employee, and allows business to conduct transactions on-site.


ADVOCACY WIN: U.S. Senate Votes to Pass Trade Promotion Authority

After months of advocacy on the part of the Chamber and key partners including the San Diego Economic Devolopment Council, the much-debated Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) and Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) were approved by both houses and signed by President Obama on June 29.

These new trade measures will allow the President to negotiate agreements and present to Congress for a 'Yes' or 'No' vote, thereby increasing the nation's ability to expand its global markets. As San Diego has a substantial export economy (with a total of $18.6 billion exported in 2014), this is a very big win.


Pacific Imperial Railroad and Baja California Railroad Sign MOU

A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between the Pacific Imperial Railroad (PIR) and Baja California Railroad (BJRR). The signing of this agreement marks the beginning of a new era of binational cooperation with a goal to overhaul the entire Cali-Baja freight rail system.


Chamber Advocates for Affordable Housing

Chamber staff advocated for affordable housing at the City's Smart Growth & Land Use Committee. Using Dr. Lynn Reaser's housing affordability report, which found that government processes contribute to as much as 40 percent of housing costs, the Chamber pushed for a reduction of regulatory costs through housing policies and improvements for entitlement and mapping processes.


Governor's Finance Office Opposes Minimum Wage Raise

Governor Jerry Brown's finance department is in opposition to SB 3 - a bill that will raise California's minimum wage to $11/hr on Jan. 1 and again to $13/hr a year later. The bill, which the Chamber Board of Directors has opposed, will represent a 10 percent increase in costs for businesses that employ workers at the minimum wage, and subsequently a 30 percent increase at $13. The Chamber is continuing its efforts to lobby against SB 3.


Chamber Advocates for Export-Import Bank Reauthorization

For the first time in 81 years since its inception, the Ex-Im Bank has expired after failing to achieve reauthorization. As a result, new financing to companies and foreign countries has come to a halt. (The bank will continue to run for the duration of existing loans.)

As the Ex-Im Bank has been a vital component for small companies wishing to compete at the global market, the Chamber continues to advocate for reauthorization through other proposals that are being currently debated in Congress.


Jerry Sanders Travels to Sacramento in Opposition to AB 504

Today, Chamber President & CEO Jerry Sanders is in Sacramento to speak against AB 504, the "Anti-Civic San Diego" bill. The bill, which threatens the processes which have allowed Civic San Diego to revitalize Downtown and its surrounding areas, has been a major policy priority for the Chamber.


ADVOCACY WIN: Senate Approves Funds for North American Development Bank

Last week, the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations approved a $22.5 million capital increase and $255 million in callable capital to the North American Development Bank (NADB). The approved funding came in at half the amount proposed by both U.S. and Mexican institutions, but Chamber officials remain hopeful that the final amount will match the original.

Since their establishment as part of NAFTA negotiations two decades ago, the NADB and Border Environmental Cooperation Commision (BECC) have provided more than $2.5 billion in loans and grants to support the implementation of 211 environmental infrastructure projects in the border region.


In Other News...

How Baja California is battling the drought

July 4th Salute to Great Immigrants Who Help Make America Strong--from Carnegie Corporation of New York​

​+ No Border Wall Because Rio Grande ‘Unites’ U.S. and Mexico

WhoTrades turnover in Latin America touches $10 billion in 6 months

Surprise! Donald Trump is wrong about immigrants and crime

Food Scene Thrives in Tijuana

Amazon Mexico Says ‘Hola’ With Debut of New Online Storefront

Tijuana and the Future of Trade

Pedestrian US-Mexico Border Crossers Typically US Citizens

Biden y Videgaray quieren una Norteamérica más competitiva en energía

Northwestern Mexican States Aim for Better Coordination With The U.S

William H. Duncan Assumes Duties as Deputy Chief of Mission at U.S. Embassy Mexico City

Mexico transitions to high-value manufacturing location

México, preparado para enfrentar la volatilidad mundial, afirman empresarios

Miles de turistas en Playas de Rosarito

Trabajamos para lograr un México competitivo: EPN

4th of July Tourism Surge Exceeds Expectations in Baja California


As the voice of the region’s business community, the San Diego Regional Chamber is the leading advocate on critical business issues, and is fighting to make San Diego the best place in California to do business.




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