Dept. of Commerce: Governor Doyle Meets with Mexican President Fox

Tony Hozeny, Department of Commerce, 608-267-9661
Ethnie Groves, Office of the Governor, 608-261-2156

Also Signs Sustainable Forestry Agreement with the State of Chiapas

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO – Governor Jim Doyle and Mexican President Vicente Fox met yesterday to discuss issues of mutual concern to Wisconsin and Mexico. The Governor stressed Wisconsin’s strong ties to Mexico, and had a productive dialogue with President Fox on issues ranging from immigration to environmental standards to manufacturing equipment exports.

Mexico is Wisconsin’s second largest export market, up 35 percent since 2003 to $1.06 billion. More than 20 percent of Wisconsin exports to Mexico are industrial machinery, followed by electrical machinery (19 percent), paper products (11 percent), and transportation equipment (8 percent).

The Governor said that both countries could benefit from greater trade, and urged the Mexican government to work with Wisconsin to overcome trade barriers. Governor Doyle encouraged President Fox to move Mexico toward uniform import standards so that Wisconsin companies aren’t blocked from market access by wide variation in local ordinances.

“I appreciated the opportunity to meet with President Fox,” Governor Doyle said. “I hope the dialogue we’ve begun will lead to more export opportunities for Wisconsin companies.”

Governor Doyle also signed a sustainable forestry agreement yesterday with Mexican Secretary of the Environment, Alberto Cárdenas, and the Governor of the Mexican State of Chiapas, Pablo Salazar Mendiguchía. This agreement will initiate cooperation between the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the State of Chiapas to pursue sustainable forestry and fire prevention plans.

“Like Chiapas, Wisconsin is blessed with vast forest resources – and we work hard to preserve and protect them,” Governor Doyle said. “Today, with this agreement, we enter a new phase in our relationship with Mexico and with Chiapas, and are proud to have the opportunity to exchange knowledge about forest administration and fire protection.”

Chiapas has some of the most extensive forest resources in Mexico and has a great need for forestry management assistance. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) identified Wisconsin as one of the U.S. states with the most extensive and progressive forestry programs. In 2004, the EPA and the Mexican Secretary of the Environment began discussions with DNR officials and Chiapas officials in charge of forest issues.

Ansul Corporation, which is a leader in providing fire fighting equipment and materials for the Mexican market has agreed to discuss participation along with the DNR in the Fire Fighting Control portion of this agreement. The Governor of Chiapas will visit Ansul installations in Mexico City on Tuesday, March 8, 2005.

Today was the second day of Governor Doyle’s Trade Mission, which runs through March 11, 2005. The Governor is joined by the Secretary of Commerce Mary Burke and Secretary of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Rod Nilsestuen, as well as various Wisconsin business leaders. A complete list of mission participants can be found at:

Last Friday, the Governor’s office launched a special interactive homepage for the Mexico Trade Mission as part of the Governor’s website – The page allows Wisconsin school children to follow along as the Governor meets with President Fox and travels throughout Mexico. It includes descriptions of what the Governor is doing, information so students can learn about Mexico, and features an interactive map. It will be updated with photos and other announcements as the trip progresses.

Listen to Governor Doyle’s remarks at the Forestry Agreement Signing Ceremony:

Listen to a clip from the Governor’s media availability afterward:

Look at pictures of Governor Doyle with President Vicente Fox: