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Mexico's Reforms: An Economic & Political Analysis- March 10, 2014
Co-Authored by: Marianna Rossell & Aida Lagarda

In 2013, President Peña Nieto presented an unprecedented number of constitutional and structural reforms regarding key industry sectors including energy, telecommunications, antitrust, labor, banking and finance which were subsequently approved by Congress. Congress is currently discussing secondary regulations for some of the reforms while others are expected to be presented within the foreseeable future.

Presently, the most significant challenges are the pending discussions, approval and implementation of said reforms which would provide Mexico with unparalleled growth and development opportunities.

On March 10, Santander Bank hosted our expert analyst group give us their individual opinions from both an independent economic and political perspective regarding the process and potential outcome these reforms may have on Mexico.

The speakers included Shannon K. O’Neil, Council on Foreign Relations, Alejandro Estevez-Breton, Executive Director, Chief LatAm Economist & Head, Rates & FX Strategy Santander Investment Securities, Daniel Kerner, Director Latin America, Eurasia Group.

The conversation included topics such as Mexico’s economic growth expectations and the impact of the fiscal and energy reforms from the macroeconomic perspective.

After a long period of negotiations between the three main political parties-   PRI, PAN and PRD, the impact of the reforms will mainly depend on how they are implemented and the details of the secondary regulation being highly anticipated by both the public and private sector.  Privately owned companies within the energy sector that have been historically government owned in Mexico and the amount of control that will remain in the governments hands is one of the concerns that was discussed.  Although, PEMEX, a government held company, will continue to do business, the question is how PEMEX will operate under new market conditions.

The integration between United States, Canada and Mexico in terms of energy production and the harmonization of customs regulations was also discussed. Having same size labels and similar regulations will improve trade significantly between these nations.  NAFTA being signed and having similar regulations will improve trade significantly between these three nations. North-America region will remain economically strong with the three countries working together.

LatAm & US Tax Update- March 17, 2014
Authored by: Marianna Rossell

The USMCOCNE collaborated with WTAS LLC, an independent international tax firm, to produce a seminar on several issues regarding Latin American and U.S. tax regulations. Attendees received an update on taxes relating to foreign activities of U.S. taxpayers: Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR), Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP), Doing Business in Latin America/Perspectives from Selected LatAm Countries, foreign investments in the U.S., pre-immigration tax planning, and Exit tax-Expatriation.

Speakers included Eloisa de Almeida Rego Barros Curi, Attorney, Demarest Advogados (Brasil); Jorge Espinosa, Attorney, Espinosa & Asociados (Chile); John Guarin, Attorney, DLA Piper (Colombia); Edgar Klee, Partner, Turanzas, Bravo & Ambrosi. Abogados Tributarios (Mexico); Joseph Kluemper, Managing Director, WTAS; Cristian Rosso-Alba, Attorney, Cristian E. Rosso Alba (Argentina); David Sahargun, Attorney, Grant, Herrmann, Schwartz & Klinger LLP; Joseph Toce, Managing Director, WTAS and Mike Valdes, Managing Director, WTAS

Monterrey Investment Outreach- March 18 & 19
Authored by: Marianna Rossell

The United States –Mexico Chamber of Commerce collaborated with Peninsula Press, the organization and supporting the “Monterrey Investment Outreach” conference which was held at the New York Palace Hotel.

The premier gathering brought together Mexican business leaders from its most competitive manufacturing center, Nuevo Leon, and its capital city, Monterrey, as well as senior state and federal government representatives.

Focused on local projects and flagship companies, the event attracted over 200 C-level executives from leading organizations in banking and finance, manufacturing, heavy industry, ICT, logistics, high tech incubation and infrastructure development.

Amongst important speakers, the event featured Chairmen, Chairwomen and CEOs of leading Mexican companies based in Monterrey, Mexico, as well as Mexico's Secretary of Economy and the Chairman of the Mexican Stock Exchange.

Mexico-Massachusetts Innovation Economy Networking- March 20, 2014
Authored by: Marianna Rossell

Members of the Chamber accompanied the government of Massachusetts on a trade mission to Mexico. The delegation from the 2014 Massachusetts Innovation Economy Trade Mission to Mexico was led by Governor Deval Patrick and included representatives of the life sciences, clean tech and digital technology industries who were in Mexico to identify business and collaborative opportunities.

During an evening cocktail reception, Governor Patrick and Zacatecas Governor Miguel Alonso Reyes jointly announced one of the largest solar photo-voltaic (PV) projects in Latin America: the ZacSol 1 project in Guadalupe, Zacatecas. The governors were joined by project owners VERTEX Ingenieros Consultores, Constructora e Inmobiliaria Zacatecana, and Grupo Domos, as well as Panel Claw and Solectria Renewables, two of the leading solar PV component suppliers from Massachusetts.

Invitation to see Dr. Agustin Carstens- March 28, 2014

The Economic Club of New York hosted a breakfast program for Dr. Agustín Carstens, Governor of Mexico’s Central Bank, at the Grand Hyatt New York in Grand Central. The Economic Club generously invited members of the Chamber to attend.


NE/New York and California Chapters Sign Letter of Intention for Tourism Initiative with Mexico City- March 28, 2014

The Northeast/New York and California/Los Angeles Chapters of the United States-Mexico Chamber of Commerce, represented by their executive directors, Alejandro Ramos and Marlen Marroquin, signed a Letter of Intention with the government of Mexico City, to work on an initiative intended to offer special tourism packages and benefits to members of the Chamber when visiting Mexico City. Mexico City was represented by Mayor Angel Mancera and Miguel Torruco, Secretary of Tourism of Mexico City,

This initiative is an integral part of the Mis Raíces (My Origins) program that Mexico City is developing with the support of the Chamber to promote Mexico City as a premiere tourism destination within the Mexican-American community and Americans with special ties to Mexico City.

The U.S.-Mexico Chamber of Commerce was selected as a partner for this project due to its membership that includes many Mexican nationals and professionals of Mexican origin, as well as many others affiliated with the Chamber through the companies they represent and as individual members.

Mis Raíces will open new alternatives for our members to enjoy the historic, cultural, architectural and gastronomic wealth of Mexico City and, at the same time, the program will provide opportunities for those members living in the U.S. who have origins in Mexico City, to share their heritage through the tourism of the city.

While Mis Raíces will strengthen relations between Mexico City and the United States by means of tourism, it is also a way to promote business and investment between both countries, a basic element of the mission of the United States-Mexico Chamber of Commerce.


Corporate Restructuring & Bankruptcy Procedures- April 24, 2014
Authored by: Marianna Rossell

Paul Hastings hosted our event in which keynote speaker, Gricelda Nieblas, General Manager of the Mexican Federal Institute of Specialists in Restructuring and Bankruptcy Procedures (IFECOM), presented the Implications of the Financial Reform to the Legal Framework for Restructurings and Bankruptcy Procedures.

As part of the recently approved Financial Reform in Mexico, important changes to the Mexican Law of Restructuring and Bankruptcy Procedures (Ley de Concursos Mercantiles) were enacted. Prior to this reform, certain cases that resulted in successful restructurings also raised significant controversy and uncertainty.

The amendments to the law were published on January 10, 2014 containing more than 30 statutes as well as the issuance of a new Financial Groups Law (Ley para Regular a las Agrupaciones Financieras).  This includes the granting of loans and avoidance of overpricing; protection of creditors-  stronger legal mechanisms; protection from manger misconduct; estate protection and modern & standardized technological mechanisms.  The new law seeks to ensure a justice system that is prompt and expeditious, avoiding bankruptcies. 

In attempts to speed up the efficiency of a proceeding, the case of a voluntary petition must be attached as well as a payment plan proposal along with a preliminary proposal of a plan to preserve the enterprise.   From the initial filing, the debtor may be authorized by the judge to borrow the money needed.  Then, the debtor may grant collateral and the money borrowed may be repaid as an ordinary expense.

In order to strengthen Financial Authorities, the following was proposed-  Additional powers were granted to the Mexican National Commission for the Defense of Users of the Financial System including the issuance and publication of recommendations to financial institutions. 

Other changes include the creation of a financial arbitration system in order to resolve conflicts amongst financial institutions/clients and a bureau for financial institutions supervised by the Condusef. 

A financial arbitration system geared to resolve conflicts among financial institutions and their clients was also implemented.

Insolvency/Bankruptcy Procedure was shortened and the use of templates prepared by the Federal Institute of Specialists in Bankruptcy will now be permitted. 

New creditor´s protection mechanisms including voting rights limitations, extension to the look back period under certain circumstances, and the addition of responsibilities of the board of directors of a debtor were added.

As a result, legal terms have become tougher and more complex.  Judges can no longer modify the duration of legal terms except when the law expressly authorizes the judge to do so.  In specialized courts, the deadline to handle insolvency proceedings must be resolved within a 6 month period.

The changes to the Ley de Concursos Mercantiles were intended to provide more certainty and more efficient procedures to protect the interests of parties involved. Said reforms were discussed at length and how they might be applicable to current cases and how certain challenges experienced in the past could be addressed under the new regulatory framework.


Cinco de Mayo Corporate Luncheon- May 5, 2014
Authored by Marianna Rossell

Our annual Cinco de Mayo Luncheon took place at Vermilion Restaurant.   Famed Chef Betty Vazquez designed a special menu inspired from the flavors of Riviera Nayarit’s coastal region.  It’s one of the most significant networking events of the USMCOCNE and is recognized as an official ceremony amongst the business community.  It is a day in which we celebrate Mexican culture and heritage in New York City.

The USMCOC-NE was given a Proclamation from the Governor’s office as well as a Mayoral letter from the Mayor’s office.  It was attended by 125 members of the NYC business community including the Consul General of Mexico to NYC and representatives from the Governor and Mayor’s office.
We thank our sponsors:  Riviera Nayarit, Delta, The Mexican Tourism Board, , L.A. Cetto and Dos XX, Sol and Tecate. 

US-Mexico Real Estate Investment Summit 2014- May 8, 2014
Authored by: Marianna Rossell

We joined forces with Inmobiliare Magazine, a highly regarded real estate publication.

Recognized specialists from Mexico and the U.S. will deliver comprehensive analyses of Mexico’s real estate market, the current situation, outlook and its relation to the United States. Business opportunities were presented within the commercial, industrial, tourism and residential real estate sector in Mexico, all available to international industry investors. The summit also explained trends and innovation in investing and financing real estate in Mexico.

This event provided a forum for prime networking opportunities with individuals currently participating or interested in the Mexican real estate market, including real estate specialists, institutional investors, bankers and developers from Mexico and the United States.


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