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Arizona politicians, business leaders cheer trade deal signing

President Donald Trump speaks during an event at the White House to sign a new North American trade agreement with Canada and Mexico, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020, in Washington. Vice President Mike Pence is left of the President. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

PHOENIX – Arizona politicians and business leaders celebrated the Wednesday signing of the U.S. trade agreement with Canada and Mexico that rewrote rules and replaced a nearly 26-year-old version.

President Donald Trump said the USMCA will keep jobs, wealth and growth in America.

“This is good news for everyone in Arizona,” Mesa Mayor John Giles told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News a few hours before the deal was signed.

Giles, a Republican, was one of the Arizonans invited to attend the signing on the South Lawn of the White House.

“We don’t need to be reminded that Mexico is our biggest trading partner … (and) it’s one of the red-letter days of (Trump’s) presidency.

“It was time to update it,” Giles said.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey said in a statement: “The USMCA means more jobs and trade for Arizona and closer ties with Canada and Mexico, where the state exports nearly $10 billion in Arizona-made goods already.”

Applause for the agreement reached across political parties.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Greg Stanton said in a statement: “With the USMCA, we have demonstrated that even in the most divided times, Congress can still come together in a bipartisan way to deliver real results.”

“This is the most important trade agreement ever signed and ratified by the United States,” Glenn Hamer, president of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce told KTAR News.

Trump made renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement a priority during his 2016 campaign, although trade experts say the impact of the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement will be modest.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Arizona open and hiring: If you’re looking for job openings, visit ktar.com/arizonahiring.

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