The Growing Connection with Mexico

Miami and Mexico’s growing relationship

Over the last decade, trade and commerce has steadily increased between Miami and Mexico, as Mexican businesses and investors grow their presence in the Southeast U.S. Likewise, Miami-based companies have increased their operations in Mexico due to lower production costs. A career diplomat working for the Mexican Foreign Ministry for almost 25 years, Consul General of Mexico in Miami, Jonathan Chait Auerbach, was appointed to his current role in 2019. Prior to that, he was posted at the Embassy of Mexico in Washington, D.C. as its liaison with Congress. He also spent time serving in San Francisco, Dallas, and El Paso. We sat down with the consul general to discuss his priorities and the relationship between Miami and Mexico.

How does Miami compare to the previous cities that you’ve been posted in?

It’s very different. In Washington, D.C…. I gained a better understanding of the relevance of Congress in the political arena and the U.S. decision-making process for international affairs. Any topic related to foreign affairs must go through Congress, like immigration or security. Working on that was very important since we have such a strong relationship with the U.S. And now being in Miami, [our] main priorities [are supporting the] Mexican community and expanding our relationships in this region.

How does the consulate support Mexican businesses and entrepreneurs in Miami?

One of our main objectives has been maritime routes and pushing to understand the relevance of the Florida ports. In June last year, we took a small delegation on a trade mission with World Trade Center [Miami]. The whole idea was to figure out how we could open markets for both sides. As for the community itself, many of [the Mexicans in Miami] are farm workers who are entrepreneurs too, and we give them the tools to better their businesses. We have programs through different universities and the Mexican Foreign Ministry to support these small businesses. We also have a strong relationship with the different Chambers, the Beacon Council, and World Trade Center Miami, [so] we connect people with them.

What are your priorities on the state of trade between Mexico and Miami?

First, we think that maritime routes are going to be very important. We have such a long border with the U.S. that sometimes we forget that we also have a border with Florida, which is the ocean. Second, we’re trying to match up companies between the two regions [so they can] produce together. We have a strong trade exchange, but we’re not producing together. For instance, there are other states that are producing automobiles with Mexican companies to build or assemble in Mexico. This is the type of connection that we need as well.

What are some current issues facing Mexicans here and how is the consulate addressing them?

As with any consulate, you must be working with the community on different topics – any needs that the community might have, like health, education, legal assistance, or their rights. One of our main objectives is to make the Mexican community more visible in the region. Also, social media has become an important tool for us. We want to break some stereotypes of what a diplomat is [so we] can be more approachable to the people. It’s important for them to know us better.

Do you work with other Mexican consulates and embassies around the world?

We have the largest consular network in the world with 52 consulates throughout the U.S. We have about 10 in California and Texas [alone]. That makes sense, considering the Mexican communities there. Even though we work independently in our communities, we also work together in areas we have to promote, like trade. 

Originally located in the Brickell financial district, the General Consulate of Mexico in Miami will be relocating to Coral Gables this month.

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