Objectives and History
The U.S.-Mexico Quadripartite Commission was established to encourage closer cooperation between the two countries in solving mutual economic and social problems. The term "quadripartite" refers to the two private and two public sectors of the U.S. and Mexico and reflects the unique feature of the Commission: a commitment by both government and business to initiate policy and design specific projects promoting Mexico's economic and social progress. The Mexican Government and private sector have highlighted five primary areas for development: tourism, agribusiness, energy-related industry, labor-intensive manufacturing and long-term investments.
The Quadripartite Commission was launched after initial meetings between Senator Jacob Javits and Presidents Echeverria and Lopez Portillo during 1975-1976. The Commission's early efforts focused on defining policy matters relevant to both private sectors. Subcommittees were formed in agribusiness and long-term investment by U.S. insurance companies. The Commission's recent work has emphasized specific projects as well as policy issues.
The U.S. Co-Chairmen are Ralph Pfeiffer, Jr., Chairman of IBM World Trade Americas/Far East Corporation; Edgar R. Molina, former Vice President of Ford Motor Company; and Henry B. Schacht, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Cummins Engine Company, Inc. Jeffrey B. Peters is the U.S. Executive Director.
The Mexican Co-Chairmen are Bernardo Quintana, President of Grupo ICA, and Antonio Ruiz Galindo, President of Grupo DESC. The Mexican General Coordinator is Alberto Velasco; and David Pena is the Mexican Executive Director.
In addition to Senator Javits, others instrumental in the founding of the Commission on the U.S. side were Senator Lloyd Bentsen of Texas; J. Irwin Miller of Cummins Engine; Irving Shapiro of Du Pont; William Agee of Bendix; Howard P. James of Sheraton; A. W. Clausen of Bank of America; G. A. Costanzo of Citicorp; and the late Forrest Murden of Murden & Company.
On the Mexican side of the Commission, President Jose Lopez Portillo and his Cabinet have provided strong support, together with Agustin Legorreta of Banco Nacional; Juan Morales Doria of Grupo Alfa; and Antonio Madero of Inmabra.
Meeting with President Jose Lopez Portillo
Demonstrating in this way his strong support of the Commission, Mexican President Jose Lopez Portillo met with U.S. corporate contributors to the Quadripartite Commission on September 28,1979 at Blair House, Washington, D.C. The President indicated that among Mexico's priorities are long-term, fixed-rate financing, appropriate technology, and international markets. In their remarks, the U.S. participants expressed a strong desire to cooperate fully in the priority co-investment plans and economic development of Mexico.
The Commission's goals are to increase investments, provide managerial know-how, improve transportation infrastructure, and obtain U.S. partners for projects.
A major Quadripartite Commission Tourism Meeting took place in February 1979 in Manzanillo, Mexico. Over 60 high level representatives of the private and public sectors of Mexico and the United States attended the meeting, which was headed by the former President of Mexico, Miguel Aleman and Senator Jacob K. Javits of New York. Issues focused on the legal aspects of foreign investment in Mexico and the acquisition of real property by foreigners. At the meeting, three joint venture agreements were announced.
Thirty-five senior executives of the U.S. and Mexican private sectors met in Mexico City in March 1980 for the first meeting of the Agribusiness Subcommittee, headed by William Hewitt, Chairman of Deere & Company, and Henry J. Heinz, II, Chairman of H. J. Heinz Company. As a result, a bilateral task force was set up to meet with the head of the Office of Advisors to the President, and to offer the assistance of the Mexican and U.S. private sectors in the implementation of President Lopez Portillo's major new program, the Mexican Food Production and Distribution System. In addition, after being introduced by the Quadripartite Commission, a U.S. company and a Mexican company decided to go forward on a joint venture project.
The Insurance Company Subcommittee is chaired by Carleton D. Burtt, E.V.P. of the Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United States. In September 1979 a high level Mexican delegation led by Jesus Silva-Herzog, Deputy Secretary of the Treasury, and Gustavo Romero Kolbeck, President of the Mexican Central Bank, visited with major insurance company leaders, Governor Hugh Carey of New York, and members of the New York State Department of Insurance, to voice support of the Subcommittee's proposal to establish a 1% Special Neighbor Status for Mexico, which would allow U.S. insurance companies to increase their Mexican investments. The proposal also includes an increase of the international basket from 1% to 2%. Passage would make up to $6 billion additional long-term, fixed-rate funds available for investment in Mexico.
In November 1979, seventy government and corporate executives from the U.S. and Mexico attended an Industrial Sector Meeting of the Quadripartite Commission, whose purpose was to explain the Mexican National Industrial Development Plan and to learn of Mexican priority joint venture projects. The meeting included visits via Presidential jet to the Chicoasen hydroelectric dam in Chiapas, and to oil and petrochemical installations in the Veracruz-Tabasco area. Led by Dr. Natan Warman, Undersecretary of National Properties and Industrial Development, senior representatives from Pemex, C.F.E., Sidermex, Nafinsa, and Somex all presented aspects of the Plan. A joint venture agreement between Dravo Corporation and Sidermex was announced, and steel companies were encouraged to explore the possibility of joint ventures in Mexico.
Atlantic Richfield Company
Bank of America
The Bendix Corporation
Business Men's Assurance Company
Cummins Engine Company, Inc.
Deere & Company
DeKalb AgResearch, Inc.
E. I. duPont de Nemours & Company
Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United States
Ford Motor Company
General Electric Company
General Motors Corporation
H. J. Heinz Company
IBM World Trade Americas/Far East Corporation
International Harvester Company
Kidder, Peabody & Co. Incorporated
Morrison-Knudsen International Company, Inc.
Porta Systems Corporation
The Procter & Gamble Company
The Sheraton Corporation
Southern California Gas Company
Texas Gas Transmission Corporation
for more information, please contact: Jeffrey Blair Peters
President & CEO
THE U.S.-MEXICAN DEVELOPMENT CORP.
445 Park Avenue-Ninth Floor
New York, New York 10022