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HISTORY

A group of distinguished Mexican and U.S. businessmen established the United States-Mexico Chamber of Commerce (USMCOC) in 1973 as a 501 (c) (6) non-profit business association chartered in Washington D.C. The coalition of businessmen created a bilateral organization to promote trade, investment and joint ventures on both sides of the border. Now in its third decade of operation, the Chamber has grown into a unique non-profit corporation operating through 12 offices in Mexico and the United States. All chapters and offices, with strong local membership and international contacts, help businesses bridge differences in legal, regulatory and economic systems, as well as language and culture. 

After opening offices in Washington, D.C., and Mexico City, the Chamber focused on establishing regional chapters. The USMCOC inaugurated the Pacific Chapter, based in Los Angeles, in 1980. The Southwest Chapter, headquartered in Dallas, followed in 1987. In 1988, the Mexican Chamber of Commerce, established in the early 1920s, merged with the USMCOC to become the Northeast Chapter, based in New York City. The coming of the North American Free Trade Agreement spurred continued expansion. In 1993, the Chamber established its Rocky Mountain Chapter in Denver. Later that year, timed to coincide with the U.S. Congressional vote on NAFTA, the USMCOC inaugurated its Mid-Atlantic Chapter in Washington, D.C. In 1994, U.S. Ambassador to Mexico James R. Jones, an Honorary President of the Chamber, inaugurated the Mid-America Chapter, based in Chicago. In 1995 the Chamber inaugurated a Gulf States Chapter in Tampa and Northeast Chapter in Monterrey. Later the same year Mexico's Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Jesús Silva-Herzog, also an Honorary President, opened the Northwest Chapter, with offices in Seattle. Ambassador Jones and Sen. Miguel Aleman inaugurated new offices for a Mexico City Chapter in February 1996. In 1997, the Chamber inaugurated its Great Lakes Chapter, headquartered in Detroit and the Inter-American Chapter in Miami. In 1998, through a strategic alliance with the National Chamber of Commerce of Guadalajara, the Chamber established the Pacífico Chapter-Guadalajara in that city. In 1999, the Governor of the State of Aguascalientes, Felipe González and CANACINTRA-Aguascalientes opened new offices for the Pacífico Chapter in Aguascalientes. In the year 2000, President Vicente Fox, former Governor of the State of Guanajuato, inaugurated the Bajío Chapter in León, Guanajuato. In 2001, Governor Tommy Thompson of Wisconsin and Governor Jesse Ventura of Minnesota were opening offices of the Chamber in Milwaukee and Minneapolis respectively. The Mid-West Chapter started operations in Milwaukee in 2002 while the Minneapolis Office is in organization. In 2002, the Governor of the State of Veracruz, Miguel Alemán, inaugurated the Golfo Chapter at the Port of Veracruz. This year the Gulf States Chapter in Houston, TX, the Camino Real Chapter in Albuquerque, NM and the Grand Canyon Chapter in Phoenix, AZ, are currently in the process of being organized.

To further promote stronger bilateral relations, the Chamber established the U.S.-Mexico Cultural and Educational Foundation in 1996. The foundation, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization, oversees educational and cultural exchanges designed to develop business leaders of the future, infuse practical business knowledge into the academic realm and foment understanding between the neighboring countries.