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Good evening and welcome to tonight's meeting of the commonwealth club of California. I am Marcela Medina, a member of the Commonwealth Club Board of Governors and Vice President and General Manager of Univision KDTV and TeleFutura 66 KFSF in the San Francisco bay area. I will be your chair and moderator for today. We also welcome our listeners on the radio and invite everyone to visit the commonwealth club on the internet at commonwealthclub.org. And now it is my pleasure to introduce our distinguished guest Arturo SarukhÃƒÆ’Ã†â€™Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¡n, ambassador of Mexico to the United States. Ambassador SarukhÃƒÆ’Ã†â€™Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¡n is a career ambassador in the Mexican Foreign Service. He was appointed as Ambassador of Mexico in the United States by Mexico's president Felipe CalderÃƒÆ’Ã†â€™Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â³n in February of 2007. Prior to his career in government, ambassador SarukhÃƒÆ’Ã†â€™Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¡n was executive secretary of the non governmental bilateral commission on the future of Mexico US relations. In 1991, he was appointed as the advisor to the Secretary of Foreign Relations in charge of National and International Security Issues. In 92, he was appointed Director for the Inter-American Negotiation for Mexico's foreign ministry. During this 10 year he was responsible for the Ibero-American summit and the Latin American cooperation mechanisms such as the Rio group, G3 comprise of Mexico, Venezuela and Columbia. And the Tlatelolco Treaty, he was responsible for the negotiations of the full adhesion of Argentina, Chile and Brazil to the non proliferation Tlatelolco Treaty. And was Mexico's permanent representative at the agency for the prohibition of nuclear weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean. In 1993, he was commissioned to the Mexican embassy in Washington D C, where he held the position of chief of staff to the ambassador. In 1995, he was appointed director for counter narcotics and law enforcement issues at the embassy. In 1998, he was commissioned to Mexico City as senior advisor to the secretary of security and organized crime issues. In February of 2003, President Vicente Fox appointed Mr. SarukhÃƒÆ’Ã†â€™Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¡n as council of general of Mexico in New York where he served until February of 2006. Ambassador SarukhÃƒÆ’Ã†â€™Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¡n has been a member of the international institute for strategic studies in London. The task force for inter American security of the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington D C. and he is a member of the Mexican council of foreign relations. He has written numerous articles on different issues concerning foreign affairs which have been published in Mexico and internationally. He is a professor at the Instituto TecnolÃƒÆ’Ã†â€™Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â³gico AutÃƒÆ’Ã†â€™Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â³nomo de MÃƒÆ’Ã†â€™Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â©xico, and has been a lecture at various higher learning institutions in Mexico and a guest lecturer at the inter-American defense college and the national defense university in Washington D C. His most recent publication is "Drug, Trafficking and Terrorism: Non-Traditional Threats to Security" published in 2002. Ambassador SarukhÃƒÆ’Ã†â€™Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¡n obtained his B.A. in international relations from El Colegio de MÃƒÆ’Ã†â€™Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â©xico. And studied history at the University of AutÃƒÆ’Ã†â€™Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â³nomo de mexico. He was the recipient of both Fulbright scholarship and also Ford Foundation fellowship. He received his masters in US foreign policy from the school of advanced international studies at Johns Hopkins University. Ambassador SarukhÃƒÆ’Ã†â€™Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¡n is fluent in English, Catalan and French in addition to Spanish. He also reads Portuguese and Italian. And last but certainly not least, ambassador SarukhÃƒÆ’Ã†â€™Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¡n is married to Veronica Valencia and has a baby daughter, Lyea correct pronunciation? Please join me in giving a very warm welcome to Ambassador Arturo SarukhÃƒÆ’Ã†â€™Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¡n. Good evening, [0:04:43] [Foreign Language] before we start, given that we are on the eve of the terrorist attacks to New York and to Washington D C where thousands of people from all over the world, bankers, lawyers, cleaning personnel, pizza delivery boys, documented and undocumented individuals perished if you could just accompany me in a few minutes of silence in their memories. Thank you. Thank you thank you Marcela for your - that very kind introduction and it's an honor to be at the commonwealth club of California. This is my let me try and fight with the microphone here a bit there we go. This is my first trip to California since having arrived as ambassador of Mexico in Washington D C in February. And I find it is very fitting that the first California pit stop be San Francisco. A city which I think has been in many ways, a trailblazer of a number of social, political and environmental issues which today are so important to the future of being both countries but certainly to the Mexican and Mexican American population in United States. I have always said that one does not know what course to chart, even if one has a compass. If one doesn't know where one wants to go. So let me start by talking a bit about where this bilateral relationship between Mexico and United States is today and what is some of the trends, challenges and then the road map that I think Mexico and United States need to develop to engage in this critically important bilateral relationship. Let me start by stating the obvious. It may not be extremely popular either in this country or in my own country. But it's nonetheless the truth and it is self evident truth not because of that is it less relevant. Number one, no country has such a direct profound impact on Mexico than the United States. No country has such a profound and direct impact on the well being of the United States within Mexico. And two, post 9/11, a perception of threat to the security of the United States or a threat to the security of United States will have a very profound impact on the bilateral relationship between Mexico and the United States. Having said this, let me mention very quickly some of the current trends that I think are taking place not only in the context of the bilateral relationship parse, but also in the United States and Mexico that have a profound effect on what this relationship looks like today. Number one, there is an ongoing debate in the America in the United States today over its foreign policy and the links between foreign policy, national security and border security which will have a very profound effect on how Mexico and the United States interact with one another. For start it's because, we share a 3000 kilometer border. If we were a little European country, may be border dynamics wouldn't matter. But it just happens that we share 3000 kilometers of one of the most complex, dynamic border areas in the world. And so for how the United States deals with its own debates regarding its own role in the world, its foreign policy and how national security fits into this scheme, will have a very important bearing on the relationship with Mexico. Second, this country is undergoing one of the most profound bureaucratic re engineering processes it has seen since the end of the Second World War when the institutions that came to dominate American diplomacy and American bureaucracy were created. The national Security Council, the intelligence community, the department of defense, all these institutions that became a fixture of American political life and of America's engagement with the world were a dramatic transformation of US of the US government. As a result of 9/11, the creation of department of homeland security has had in many ways as profound impact on America's dealing with the world that what happened back 1946. And this is important for Mexico, some of you may be asking well, what has homeland security got to do with the way Mexico interacts with the United States, very profound because most of the agencies that are being folded into the department of homeland security our agency is that because of this 3000 km border with the United States have a profound effect on how Mexico and the United States interact with one another. Many of these agencies that belong to other departments in the US government that today belong to DHS and the fact that DHS still is figuring out some of the ways that it coordinates policies has a very profound impact on on how Mexico engages with its counterparts in the US government. The third trend that I think is critically important to understand is NAFTA, and the role that NAFTA has played in the past and the challenges and obstacles that NAFTA poses today for the synergies that take place between Mexico and the United States. In many ways NAFTA has been a success story. It certainly is in the great panacea that was valued who to be but it's certainly not the giant sucking sound that those of us predicated it was going to become. NAFTA trebled Mexican exports to the United States, it created a export driven economy. Mexico became the third largest trading partner of the United States and I would have said second until about an year ago where China overtook Mexico and I think this speaks volumes about some of the challenges that Canada Mexico and the United States face as a trading block as we take on the challenges posed by China and India for example. But with the peril of incurring the wrath of my economist friends and bureaucrats of the ministry of economy in Mexico, I would say that NAFTA is not only a trade success story it is probably more importantly a political success story why because, it made Mexico much more accountable, it made Mexico a much more open country, it made Mexico much less auto-tic country, it made Mexico accountable to the demands, the wimps, the fancies, the rhetoric or the demagogies of members of congress for example. It made Mexico have to open its doors to wrapper tourists on human rights, on gender issues, on corruption and it made Mexico much more open and a much more anchored country in the world system. In many ways I don't think that some of the hap-hazard sometimes not perfect movement that Mexico seem past towards the fuller and representative democracy would have been possible without NAFTA. But certainly NAFTA is loosing steam number one because NAFTA left off the table a number of issues which today haunt NAFTA labor mobility is one of them. We put labor mobility off the table back in 1993 because we knew that we put in mix the US congress, Mexican congress in the Canadian parliament would certainly not have approved NAFTA, but today the fact that we are loosing competitiveness because we can't put labor mobility in to the equation is a very powerful reminder of how NAFTA has also failed, the fact that NAFTA has not produced the trickle down effect that many expected that it would generate in a generation it is also a challenger that needs to be taken into account, but more importantly the world economy has moved away from the manufacturer base which was the hub of NAFTA to a services economy and NAFTA has been unable to take into account this profound transformation that has occurred on the world stage, many thought in the three countries that NAFTA was an end in and on itself forgetting that it was a means to achieve higher economic growth and higher social economic prosperity and equality, but more importantly this will lead me to the fourth trend and I am the son of a biologists, so please allow me a colorful figure here when I start talking about tectonic plates. But what has happened is that there has been push and show off between two very important forces, on deposits or argues north America is a community of three countries, Canada, Mexico and the United States and the rising tide between these three countries will bring trade countries up and it is this group of individuals and the vectors and of institutions that in the early 90s led the fight not only for NAFTA but for a future of integration of synergy between Canada, Mexico and United States and this group won that vote in NAFTA in congress by a very slim margin but once NAFTA was achieved, a lot of this constituencies demobilized and went on to the next sexier bigger thing and what started happening is that another group started pushing back and this is a group but today argues that North America isn't about three countries, may be its about Canada and United States, its certainly not about Mexico and that in the best case, Mexico is a colorful neighbor sometimes unruly neighbor to the south and in the worst case scenario, a threat to the security and the well being of the United States and this is a group that today is winning the battle, this is the group that today has used in the immigration as a foil to push back on the concept of the synergistic relationship between Mexico and the United States this is what's going on today, what should the road map be for us to take on some of the challenges that we face in the relationship? Number one, Mexico and the United States need to find those core issues and values that will allow this neighborhood and this relationship to flourish and we have to understand again whether we like it or not then in a post 9/11 world, we have to be able to build common prosperity and common security. If we don't bind these two pressing issues together, it will be very hard for us to continue building upon a synergistic forward looking relationship. And I think that the border and border dynamics are very powerful example of how this can be brought to bear in a very positive way. For example if you listen to certain radio talk show hosts and certain cable networks it would seem that you know Mexico is the first interested party in assuring that this border is not secure, nothing is more false than this, why? Its very simple, if there were to be a threat to the security of United States by using the Mexico US borders as staging ground, the relationship as we have known to this state would be over so then who is Mexico to ensure that security on the border as it relates to security terrorism, proliferation of weapons is not corrupted and I will tell you how we are doing this, 70 percent of all US Mexico bilateral trade comes into the United States across our land, our common land border, 70 percent, of that 70 percent 47 percent is now being screened on both sides of the border by US authorities and Mexican authorities. That 47 percent is more than the combined imports of the United States from Britain and France put together. That's the volume of containers and of trade that is coming into this country with prescreening procedures that ensure the safety of those conveniences. The problem is when would you mistake border security with immigration flows and let me say this very clearly and plainly, migrants are not a threat to the security of the United States, there may be a different type of challenge whether it's the browning of America, whether it's about people speaking ones languages and not speaking ones language, whether it raises concerns over what America looks like as a society but that's another story undocumented migrates are not to threat to the security of United States and in many ways they are powerful reminder of the potential synergies between Mexico and the United States. We have the labor you have the markets we need to bring these together let me say this also very clearly. Even if we had had a successful comprehensive immigration reform last June in Washington, this would not have not been enough, why? because unless Mexico does its job of growing and creating jobs and retaining its existence in Mexico. The rosiest, peachiest comprehensive immigration reform will not do the job of anchoring men and women in Mexico. We need those people in our country to develop Mexico, we are losing talented, bold and innovate individuals who because they don't have an opportunity are crossing this border into America. Your gain is our loss. We need them in Mexico but until this government and this president who is developing the policies to create that type of a economic growth in Mexico can't start producing the goods, we would better take advent - we would better take the take the advantage of tapping into that labor force, let's just say for argument sake that in six to seven years a new congress in Washington says well it's time that we finally do something with immigration. Lets fix the system lets get a temporary working program, let's do something about the migrants who are in the United States, tough luck because there won't be migrant labor because Mexican - the Mexican demographic curve is changing radically. In 10 or 15 years, the available proof force of labor that is coming into America today and providing economic vitality to this economy wont be there for the taking, so all I would say it to certain ladies and gentlemen on the hill today is in an Oscar Wilde sense, be careful what you wish for, when gods wish to punish you, they will listen to your prayers. There is no more important issue to the future well being of Mexico and the United states than immigration, but it's a two way game and is always in life you need to to tango. You will have to fix a system which is evidently broken, but we will have to produce the results of generating economic growth and showing what many believe out there that actually Mexico is dumping excess its excess labor on the US market. We have to work with this together, but we have to built the bridge that will allow us to reach that point down the road where we can actually produce the results and is always the proof is in the pudding and Mexico will not only need to talk the talk, but We will have to be able to demonstrate what previous governments were either unable or unwilling to do which was to tackle how would you produce sustainable fair just economic growth in Mexico. Another issue which will have to be dealt with is that a complex relationship such as the one that exists between Mexico and the United States requires a double premise, no surprises and the ability to compartment lies the issues which effect our bilateral relationships, what do I mean by not surprises that given the way this relationship is evolved, domestic politics in United States and domestic politics in Mexico have the growing habit of having an impact on the domestic policies of view of a nation increasingly Mexican politics aren't just domestic, they have an undomestic effect specially on our neighbors and the same is true the other way. US politics, US domestic policies have a profound impact on the day to day lives of Mexicans. So one of the critical issues here is that if we are going to do or we are going to implement policies which have that potential, there we don't catch one another off guard, that we are able to anticipate the consequences of political actions on both sides of the border. The other issue is the ability to compartment lives is critical when we have such a complex relationship is this, we need to ensure that if there are disagreements on specific issues of the agenda; these don't contaminate the agenda as a whole. That is, if we don't agree on trucking or we don't agree on water management resources and how they are handled in the boarder area or we don't agree on how we go about fighting drugs and thugs, or we don't agree on policy in Iraq; that this does not contaminate the bilateral agenda as a whole because it is so uniquely important to the future wellbeing of our citizens. It in many ways has a very profound strategic sense. And in some times I find it extremely unnerving and revealing at the same time that many in the United States and Mexico, congress with this strategic sense that this bilateral relationship has. And I will share with you a personal anecdote. Several years back, I was in Mexico City I was Chief of Staff for Policy Planning for the Foreign Minister. And a new Israeli Ambassador had just come in as Ambassador of Israel to Mexico. And he came into visit courtesy visit and said, "You know, I am new in town. I am the new Israeli Ambassador." And we started you know shop talk because usually these things go. And he said, "I am always surprised about I know if some of you have heard I am sure you have heard this; age is all clichÃƒÆ’Ã†â€™Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â© in Mexico about there is a saying that says, "Poor Mexico, so far away from God and so close to the United States. And so the Israeli Ambassador say, "You know I have always been struck with this because when I think of this, all I can come up with is; Poor Israel, so close to God and so far away from the United States." The the ability of people to understand the synergies, the strategic synergies between Mexico and Unites States sometimes dumfounds me in terms of how little people on both sides of the border in Mexico and United States understand the strategic nature of the relationship. And regardless of the fact that they are today probably more pressing issues on the geopolitical agenda of the United States, Iraq and the Middle East and Iran and North Korea; - just as name a few, does not mean that if you look at the day-to-day impacts, on the daily lives of millions of Americans and Mexicans, there is no more important bilateral relationship on the face of the earth than the USMexico bilateral relationship; specially if you measure it in how - the relationship, and the way the relationship relationship moves, affects the daily lives of millions and millions of Mexicans, of Americans, and of Mexican-Americans in the Unites Sates. At the end of the day, I think one of the red flags that we face in this relationship is that we have lost the ability on both sides of the border, mind you. We have our loonies, you have yours; we are not different. But we have we have lost the ability to ensure there are two societies, our stakeholders to this relationship. How do we diplomats and politicians and pundits and academics and entrepreneurs and social activists, ensure that our two peoples understand why to be productive forward moving relationship to Mexico and United States is so critically important? In many ways, are we willing and able to use the bully pulpit and the microphone to explain to our Society, how this relationship can deliver the goods and that's the big challenge. If at the end of the day, we can't tell Joe Green in a talk in Oklahoma and Samuel Pares in Wahaka. Why this relationship can deliver the goods and can put food on the table and can put economic and social wellbeing and can put public security and national security and progress and justice on the table for the common man and woman on the street. We are going to have a very hard time making a case for this bilateral relationship. And that's the job that we have to do but you have to help us and in many ways I think many of the individuals who have fought for a productive, mature, forward looking relationship between Mexico and United States have either become lazy, become despondent, or have given up. And we need to rally the troops; we need to rally the troops that will speak out for a productive relationship between Mexico and the United States. The first law of physics is that, every single vacuum gets filled; and is getting filled only by people who are positing Xenophobia and who are positing building fences and drawing lines in the sand and of identifying the other as the enemy. This Country has been built on diversity, on immigration, on the ability to integrate and assimilate individuals; we have to continue fighting for that. And Mexico and the United States have to continue fighting the good fight. People may not like this either, but Mexico and United States, for good or bad, are joined at the hip and we need to continue fighting for that. At the end of the day, all paradigms for managing our common borders are increasingly outmoded while the three North American Countries; Canada, Mexico and the United States will never be equal in power and influence. I believe they can and they must learn to deal with these new issues. The challenge for Mexico and the United States is whether we can stop playing checkers and start playing chess. Can we think strategically? We must deal with creating, re-inventing or devising the principles of a rules based system that will bring about greater security but greater prosperity for Mexico and the United States. We should be concerned about the lack of convincing answers on the way forward regarding many of these issues. There is no cost free leadership even if Cable TV beams it into our living rooms every single night; unless we forcefully use our bully pull pits to build a new North American architecture based on joint actions. Mexico is ready to play its part along its US neighbor. The ultimate challenge is, "Can the United States and Mexico, instead of being accomplices of failure, become partners to success. Thank you very much.