Mark C. Johnson, Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, visited Nogales and met with representatives of the main industries in the region, including the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas (FPAA).

In a breakfast meeting organized by the U.S. Consul General in Nogales, Sonora, Michelle Ward, Johnson listened to the challenges faced by the produce industry. Georgina Felix, FPAA’s Director of Operations and Foreign Affairs, highlighted several issues, including the Tomato Suspension Agreement, the shortage of APHIS inspectors in Mexico, military inspections at Querobabi checkpoint, lack of transparency in CBP labor investigation, and the need for adequate funding for CBP. Other industry representatives present included Josh Rubin from the Greater Nogales and Santa Cruz Conty Port Authority, Maria Elena Gallego, President of Colletron Shelter Company, and Daniel Rivera from Humanscale and President of the Nogales Maquila Association.

Deputy Chief of Mission Johnson encouraged the industry representatives to rely on Consul General Ward to follow up on the industry challenges.  Included in Johnson’s agenda was a visit to the Nogales ports of entry and meetings with local CBP officials.

A career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor, Mark Johnson assumed duties as Deputy Chief of Mission for Mission Mexico in July 2023.  Prior to this, Johnson was Deputy Executive Secretary from 2021 to 2023 in the office of the Secretary of State.  In this role, he facilitated internal coordination on Western Hemisphere, Middle Eastern, and African affairs, as well as with the Strategic Policy, Legal, and Political-Military and Arms Control bureaus.  Mark oversaw the Operations Center charged with crisis management operations, communications, and monitoring of global events.  In this position, he briefed the Secretary of State and other Department senior officials to ensure coordination with the international community.