Events

Experiencing the ‘crossroad of the US, Asia and Mexico’

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As part of his Pacific Leadership Fellowship, Enrico Letta derived new impressions of not only the EU-U.S. relationship but also the U.S.-Mexico one

By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

Former Prime Minster of Italy Enrico Letta speakingFor four days, Former Prime Minster of Italy Enrico Letta found himself at a three-way junction he’d never traversed before, and every direction had his attention.

“Even in this period of the internet, geography matters,” said the current dean of the Paris School of International Affairs at Sciences Po. “San Diego is at the crossroads of the U.S., Asia and Mexico. It’s fantastic, the position. This is why I’m so interested and why I’m here. … And frankly, I have fallen in love.”

As part of a Pacific Leadership Fellowship at the UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy’s (GPS) Center on Global Transformation from April 10-14, Letta experienced the binational region and its relationship with Asia through networking with academics and students across campus, as well as local business leaders outside of it such as at Qualcomm Inc.

In a more informal capacity, he also checked a huge item off of his bucket list: Attending a Los Angeles Lakers game.

Former Prime Minister of Italy Enrico Letta at a Laker's game“I have been a fan of the Lakers since I was young,” Letta said, and recollected on when at 12 years old his family purchased its first TV and he stayed up late to tune into the games. “Attending an NBA game in person was one of the best moments of my life.”

Most importantly, he also travelled to Tijuana, Mexico, to see the border region firsthand.

“The election of Donald Trump raised the importance of this visit for me because San Diego—a place where Mexico and the U.S. are so interconnected—is now under possible threat in terms of trade and the border,” Letta explained.

In a sold-out public talk on April 12, Letta talked around this topic more but in terms of similar dilemmas in Europe as seen through Brexit and the migration crisis.

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