Arizona-Mexico Commission Summit to highlight strong binational relationship

Business leaders and policymakers from Arizona and Mexico come together every year to share ideas on how to strengthen the binational relationship. The annual Arizona-Mexico Commission (AMC) Summit hosts committee meetings about everything from energy to agriculture, trade, tech, education and more, as well as panel discussions on how to solve respective issues in those fields.

Gov. Doug Ducey and Sonora Gov. Claudia Pavlovich will lead the event, celebrating the Arizona-Mexico Commission’s 60th year since its founding. The group focuses on strengthening cultural and economic ties between Arizona and Mexico.

When people think of the relationship between Arizona and Mexico today, border turmoil or trade disagreements may come to mind, but the relationship between the two entities is only getting stronger. With consistently solid trade numbers, cross-border business partnerships continue to grow.

Juan Ciscomani, senior advisor for regional and international affairs in Gov. Ducey’s office, said he wants to focus on business growth, including in major sectors like tech and manufacturing, as well as the mutual respect between the two nations.

“We want to highlight that the relationship between Arizona and Mexico is not only strong but stronger than ever,” Ciscomani said. “You have two governors from two separate countries who can put their names on the same letter to promote the USMCA. Where else can you see that? We want to show the value in that.”

Hosted in partnership with Comisión Sonora-Arizona, the AMC Summit runs from June 26 to 28 at the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort, featuring special events with subject matter experts who will weigh in on the latest news from their industries. This year’s theme is “Celebrating Our Legacy and Defining Our Future,” focusing on the organization’s 60-year history as well as the state’s future role in North American trade.

At a special anniversary luncheon on Thursday, June 27, Geronimo Gutierrez, managing partner at Beel Infrastructure Partners and former Mexican ambassador to the U.S., will give a keynote address discussing the current state of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) before industry leaders participate in a panel discussion on health care and border infrastructure.

Attendees can also attend U.S. Sen. Martha McSally’s keynote address on Friday, June 28, that will offer a Washington, D.C., perspective on Arizona’s relationship with Mexico as well as North American trade, following a special fireside chat with members of Arizona’s Congressional Delegation.

After McSally’s speech, Govs. Ducey and Pavlovich will participate in the Decision Makers Forum, where they will discuss progress made over the last four years.

The summit will also feature a keynote from Harry M. “Red” Conger, president and chief operating officer for Freeport-McMoRan – Americas, on mining technology, supply chains and industry innovation.

The three-day event will end with the Awards Dinner, highlighting industry leaders who have made the relationship between Arizona and Mexico stronger.

One area that will get some much-needed discussion is agriculture, which includes farming and produce trade.

Mexico is the nation’s biggest trade partner; Sonora is Arizona’s biggest trade partner. Everything from berries to tomatoes makes its way through Sonora to Arizona, boosting relationships between importers and exporters and growing local economies along the way.

But lately, produce trade has stepped into the spotlight with news about longer wait times for freight trucks at the border due to lack of staffing, legislative battles in Congress and a slow USMCA ratification process.

Ciscomani said this is the perfect time to be discussing these issues, especially because it is the AMC’s 60th year.

“The theme of the summit itself is celebrating our legacy and defining our future,” he said. “No other state in the nation has something like the Arizona-Mexico Commission. We have to define our future for the next 60 years. It depends on how we go about this relationship.

To learn more information about this event, click here.

Nick Esquer

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