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Ducey says NAFTA rework could improve Arizona-Mexico trade

Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey, middle, pauses as he gives his state of the state address as he is flanked by House Speaker J.D. Mesnard, left, R-Chandler, and Senate President Steve Yarbrough, right, R-Chandler, at the capitol, Monday, Jan. 8, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX — Gov. Doug Ducey said trade between Arizona and Mexico is a key part of his state’s economy and that could be improved further by reworking the North American Free Trade Agreement.

“We certainly are advocating for an improvement or a modern NAFTA,” he told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News on Thursday.

“It was written in a rotary-phone economy. The world has changed dramatically.”

Ducey said he was a fan of NAFTA and saw positives in renegotiating it.

“We think it’s important that there is free and fair trade between our [Mexico and the United States] and NAFTA supports that,” he said.

The governor said NAFTA, in part, allowed his state to have a good trade relationship that helps Arizona land big deals.

“Our relationship has benefited the state of Arizona. It’s brought the Arizona SkyBridge deal to Mesa-Gateway Airport. It’s brought the Lucid deal from northern California where we’re going to manufacture electric cars in Casa Grande.”

Getting out of the trade agreement between Canada, Mexico and the United States was a promise made by President Donald Trump during his campaign. The then-nominee said the deal was unfair to the U.S. and killed jobs.

His stance was met with opposition from both Canadian and Mexican officials, along with Arizona business leaders.

A U.S. Chamber of Commerce analysis said Arizona’s economy would be among those that suffered most if the U.S. abandoned the deal altogether.

Trump has since backed away and said he wants to rework the deal instead.

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