Mexico confident in relationship with Arizona under Gov.-elect Katie Hobbs
PHOENIX — A top Mexican diplomat hopes to keep the Arizona-Mexico relationship going strong after Gov.-elect Katie Hobbs takes office.
Ambassador of Mexico to the United States Esteban Moctezuma Barragán met with Hobbs on Monday to discuss how Mexico and Arizona are more than just neighbors. He said they’re close trade partners that share similar values.
“We know that we’re going to have a very good standing because that’s how we have been working with Arizona,” Barragán told KTAR News 92.3 FM, referring to his expectations for Mexico’s relationship with Arizona under the Hobbs administration.
Mexico is Arizona’s No. 1 trade partner. Many in Arizona also have family ties in Mexico that go back generations.
Term-limited Gov. Doug Ducey has made strengthening Arizona’s relationship with Mexico a top priority. This week, he traveled to Mexico on his final trade mission as governor to focus on Arizona’s $17 billion trade relationship with Mexico. He met with high-level officials and business leaders during his time there.
“Arizona and Mexico are more than just neighbors – we’re partners,” Ducey said in a statement. “It’s been a priority since day one to nurture this trusted friendship.”
According to the governor’s office, Ducey’s many successes includes working with former Sonora Gov. Claudia Pavlovich to bring Lucid and thousands of jobs to the region, advocating for the most significant international trade deal in nearly three decades and strengthening infrastructure to allow commercial trucks and products to move more safely and efficiently across the border and on their way to consumers.
Barragán said he sees several ways in which Mexico and Arizona can continue to partner once Hobbs takes office, starting with water.
“We have to work together in order not just to know how to distribute better the water, but to produce more water – fresh water,” he said. “That can be done with technology. That can be done with infrastructure.”
Arizona’s water usage and availability has become a top concern as the two reservoirs the state relies on are historically low.
At the same time, Arizona is becoming a major hub for the semi-conductor industry. Intel is building two massive semiconductor plants on its Chandler campus, while Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. is building a plant in north Phoenix.
Barragán said Mexico is looking for ways to partner with Arizona’s semiconductor industry. He pointed out Mexico has signed a memorandum of understanding with Arizona State University to train engineers from Mexico to work in the semiconductor industry.
Beyond Arizona, Barragán said it’s important for the U.S.-Mexico bilateral relationship to focus on a regional approach that helps build a prosperous North America.
“I think that the future of our countries is going to be stronger because we are working towards that goal,” he said.