Border Trade Alliance Elects New 2018 Chair

Paola Avila, Vice President of International Business Affairs at San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, to helm BTA Board of Directors

WASHINGTON (November 6, 2017) – The Border Trade Alliance has elected Paola Avila, Vice President of International Business affairs for the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, as the organization’s new chair.

Avila is a respected leader throughout the US-Mexico border region who brings valuable public and private sector experience to the chairmanship post. She focuses on advocacy of domestic and international public policies that enhance economic prosperity through trade, commerce, and robust international relationships.

“I am honored to assume the chairmanship of the Border Trade Alliance, one of the nation’s most respected trade advocacy groups,” Avila said. “I look forward to collaborating with my fellow board members from San Diego, Calif. to Brownsville, Texas and along the northern border to continue BTA’s work of promoting policies that have encouraged efficient and secure trade in North America.”

BTA President Britton Clarke expressed great confidence in the new chair. “The BTA is fortunate to have Paola’s leadership during this critical time for free and open cross border trade. She will be a great champion for the BTA and play an important role in the debate over a modernized NAFTA while expanding the BTA’s influence on Capitol Hill and beyond.”

Avila takes the helm of the Board of Directors from Russ Jones, the chairman of RL Jones Customhouse Brokers, which maintains operations in several markets along the US-Mexico border. Jones served as chairman for the past two years.

“I appreciate the leadership Russ has provided to our organization,” Avila said. “There has been no more forceful advocate for policies that enhance the North American cross-border trade environment. On behalf of the entire BTA board, I thank Russ for his service to the BTA.”

Avila looks forward to the BTA playing a major role in the discussions over a modernized North American Free Trade Agreement. “NAFTA is too valuable to the economies of all three countries to risk its collapse,” Avila said. “The BTA was a leading voice for NAFTA’s initial adoption nearly 25 years ago, and we remain a staunch advocate for the agreement today. While we believe there is certainly a need to modernize NAFTA, abandoning it would inflict tremendous damage on our economies and harm the approximately 14 million men and women in the United States whose jobs depend on trade with Canada and Mexico. ”

About the BTA:

Since 1986, the BTA has served as a grassroots, non-profit organization that provides a forum for discussion and advocacy on issues pertaining to the environment, border development, quality of life and trade in the Americas. A network of public and private sector representatives from the United States, Mexico and Canada, BTA’s core values include a commitment to improving the quality of life of border communities through trade and commerce.

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