There are a lot of misperceptions surrounding the US Mexico trade relationship. This is an opportune time in this political climate to state the facts. Our Tucson Hispanic Chamber, as a member of the Arizona District Export Council recently met with six U.S Congressmen to discuss the importance of our economic relationship with our Mexican business partners and suppliers. The message was clear. Arizona’s economy depends on a stable, strong business relationship with Mexico.
Mexico is clearly recognized as Arizona’s largest trading partner with bilateral trade exceeding $17 billion dollars a year. More than 40% of Arizona’s exports, such as transportation equipment, electrical components, processed food and minerals go to Mexico. Likewise, Mexican exports to Arizona grew 12.5% from 2012 to 2015 (from 6.8 to 7.6 billion) with main exports to Arizona such as electronics, computers, processed foods, produce, transportation equipment and minerals.
Chambers across the state realize the interdependent nature of our economies. In Arizona, over 111,000 jobs depend on trade with Mexico. We share a 375-mile border in which our families have been visiting, vacationing and doing business together for generations. It’s led to a dynamic demographic shift in Arizona – the fast growing Hispanic community which by 2030 is estimated to be the majority of Arizona per the U.S Census.
Our Hispanic chambers engagement with our allies in Mexico makes sense. The Hispanic market is crucial to U.S prosperity and Hispanics represent the largest minority market, in a country in which household consumption generates 70% of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product. Corporate America understands the value of the Hispanic market where in 2015, Hispanic purchasing power surpassed $1.5 trillion dollars, close to 11% of the purchasing power in the United States.
The question of a modification to the North American Free Trade Agreement or a bilateral trade agreement impacts us all – our jobs, our businesses and our families. The recent promotion of an Arizona-Sonora Mega Region by Governor’s Ducey and Pavlovitch emphasize our need to work closely together. We encourage our Mexican business members and fellow Chambers of Commerce to engage in the dialogue with us to communicate the importance of trade to our region. Please visit www.TucsonHispanicChamber.org or visit our International Welcome Center at our Ambos Nogales Hispanic Chamber located at 337 W. Mariposa Rd in Nogales, Arizona to learn more about our activity.
Lea Marquez Peterson is the President/CEO of the Tucson Hispanic Chamber and its affiliate chambers in Ambos Nogales, Sierra Vista and Douglas.
Welcome to the Tucson Hispanic Chamber Blog Page.
Our goal is to help member companies grow and prosper. We work to achieve this goal by advocating a pro-business agenda in Tucson and connecting members with business leaders and policy makers. How? With Networking & educational events, and online initiatives — like this blog.