Governor Doug Ducey and former U.S. Senator Jon Kyl discussed Arizona’s international trade relationships at the 14thAnnual International State of the State yesterday.
“The responsible and sustainable growth in Arizona doesn’t just have its roots locally, it’s international,” Gov. Ducey said.
He said two-way trade between Arizona and Mexico for 2018 increased 7.7 percent totaling $16.6 billion, and Arizona’s two-way trade with Canada increased 2.4 percent.
“Arizona is proud to have exported over $22 billion dollars in goods all around the world last year,” He said.
Building and maintaining strong relationships with the nation’s neighbors in Canada and Mexico impacts the economy, but it goes beyond that.
“We know that strong international relationships are critical for our safety, security and prosperity,” Gov. Ducey said. “And with thousands of jobs in our state supported by international trade including 228,000 jobs with Canada and Mexico alone, Arizona will remain committed to strengthening the bond with all of our international friends.”
Former Senator Jon Kyl moderated a Q&A with Gov. Ducey where they covered a variety of topics, including the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
The USMCA, intended to succeed NAFTA, is expected to strengthen Arizona’s economy and promote its trade relationship with Canada and Mexico.
“This is critical to enhancing our long-standing relationships in North America. And now, it’s time for Congress to act on it,” Gov. Ducey said.
Kyl explained that it is possible that the U.S. Congress will not approve USMCA, but it is important to not lose hope if that happens.
“So, what do we do about it? Do we lament the fact and wring our hands and criticize others politically? I don’t think so. We roll up our sleeves, figure out where the problems are and go try to fix them,” Kyl said.
While the fate of USMCA is unclear, Gov. Ducey continues to support the agreement as he believes it will benefit all of the parties involved.
“I think something that’s lost in some of the rhetoric lately is we are fortunate to have neighbors like Mexico and Canada. These are not only neighbors, these are allies and partners and friends,” Gov. Ducey said.
As Arizona leaders work to strengthen the bond with Mexico, the Arizona-Mexico Commission is a critical tool in fostering the cross-border relationship.
“2019 marks the sixtieth anniversary of the Arizona-Mexico Commission. As we meet here today, I’m beyond proud to say that at a time of great challenge on our nation’s southern border Arizona’s relationship with our friends, allies and neighbors has never been better,” Gov. Ducey said.
The International State of the State with Gov. Ducey was presented by the Phoenix Committee on Foreign Relations (PCFR) and held at the Arizona Country Club.
The PCFR is a nonprofit organization comprised of community leaders that work to enhance community relationships and Arizona’s role in the global business climate.
“Our state is incredibly hopeful for all the possibilities that lie ahead with our international friends and I know that working together with our mutual benefit in mind there is no limit to what we can achieve,” Gov. Ducey said.