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Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey touts 2018 surge in trade with Mexico, Canada

(AP Photo)

PHOENIX – International trade between Arizona and its North American partners surged in 2018, according to the governor’s office.

“Arizona’s international relationships have never been stronger, and the increase in trade between our state, Mexico and Canada only provides further evidence,” Gov. Doug Ducey said last week in a press release.

The release, citing recently released data from United States Census Bureau, said Arizona’s bilateral trade total of $16.7 billion with Mexico in 2018 was 7.7 percent higher than it was in 2017.

In addition, the state’s $3.7 billion in trade with Canada was a 2.4 percent year-over-year increase.

“More goods flowing through Arizona’s ports of entry mean more jobs, more business and more economic opportunity for our state,” Ducey said.

“Arizona looks forward to continuing to build on our state’s strong international partnerships.”

To that end, Ducey has been pushing for the ratification of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), President Donald Trump’s replacement for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Ducey sent a letter to Arizona’s congressional delegation last month expressing his support for the deal, which was negotiated last year and requires approval from lawmakers in each country.

“As we seek to secure Arizona’s economic future, a strong trade deal with Mexico and Canada is crucial,” said the letter, which noted that NAFTA was outdated after 25 years in effect.

“I urge you to work with your colleagues in Congress to move towards ratification of the USMCA as quickly as possible.”

Ducey was scheduled to meet with Martha Barcena on Tuesday in her first official visit to Arizona as Mexico’s ambassador to the U.S.

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