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Panel discusses Arizona’s place in international trade

PHOENIX — Trade officials and city business leaders got together Monday to discuss why Arizona exports are going down and imports are going up.

“The reality of the world today is the US market is already the most open market in the world,” said Tami Overby, senior vice-president for Asia at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “So all of these countries that we’re negotiating these mega FTA’s (Free Trade Agreements) with, they already have free and easy access to our market; what we’re trying to do is to offer American business that same access to their markets.”

Congressman Matt Salmon said every citizen will benefit from these mega trade agreements.

“Ultimately this kind of competition brings the cost of goods and services down,” Salmon said.

Arizona needs to identify international trade as one of its top objectives, he said.