Because Mexico is Arizona’s top partner in international trade, almost 70 state business and political stakeholders traveled to the country recently as part of efforts to alter the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
Currently, Mexico represents approximately 30 percent of the state’s total export business to global markets, totaling over $8 billion, according to the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce (GPCC). Canada represents another substantial sum for Arizona exports annually.
Mike Huckins, the chamber’s vice president of public affairs, joined the travel delegation. The chamber considers it a historic venture and the most significant effort in Arizona. It is also among the nation’s largest trade missions to date, the chamber said.
Lawmakers and business leaders encouraged officials to work together to expand the trade agreement, the chamber said.
The working group was led by Arizona state Reps. Tony Rivero (R) and Rosanna Gabaldon (D). Meetings were scheduled for Sept. 1-5.
“The Arizona delegation and Mexican officials both hold NAFTA in high regard and noted that without it, the trade position between our two countries would not be weakened,” the chamber said.