Arizona seeks to strengthen trade relationship with Mexico

By Fernanda Duque Hernández

Gov. Doug Ducey: Mexico represents $26 billion in annual trade.

Since 2010 the commercial relationship between Arizona and Mexico has been obstructed by migration issues. Now the American state is trying to re-strengthen trade with its neighbor, particularly the state of Sonora.

According to Arizona’s new governor, Doug Ducey: "Mexico is Arizona's largest trading partner times four and represents US $26 billion in annual trade. Naturally, I think we should be looking for ways to maximize and increase this strong economic partnership".

Experts say that improving economic development at the border may be a key strategy in Arizona’s future economic growth.

Because of the proximity to the border, 48.3 million people cross legally from Mexico to the U.S. and vice versa on business or to shop. In fact, statistics show that Mexican visitors spend around US $7.3 million per day. This is the effect of the growing economic empowerment of the Mexican middle class. This data was gleaned from a report published by the non-profit Arizona-Mexico Commission.

arizona usa

According to Forbes, Mexico’s net worth increased by 18.4% in 2014. This means around US $148.5 billion. The Boston Consulting Group predicts that this year, production costs in Mexico will be 6% lower than China. The Arizona-Mexico Commission stated that Mexico is expected to exceed Brazil as the largest economy in Latin America by 2020.

The Editorial Board of the Phoenix-based daily, The Arizona Republic, observed in mid-February that Mexico’s recent legal reforms represent an open door to construct new alliances, based on goals set by the Mexican government to generate 35% of the country’s energy from clean sources by 2024.

The same article also referenced recommendations from a report from the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars regarding university exchanges and the development of human capital. Incentives of this kind of program will allow Mexican residents to attend Texas state universities, for example, so that they may become part of an educated workforce that will improve economic development at the border upon their return to Mexico. A similar agreement could be implemented between Arizona and Mexico.

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