Press Releases

For Immediate Release: February 13, 2016
Media contact: Ruth Soberanes
rsoberanes@az.gov -or- 602-542-1287

PHOENIX – Governor Doug Ducey today announced the appointment of Jessica Pacheco as president of the Board of Directors of the Arizona-Mexico Commission (AMC).

Jessica currently is the Vice President of State and Local Affairs at Arizona Public Service.

“I am pleased to appoint Jessica as president of the Arizona-Mexico Commission,” said Governor Ducey. “The vision and professionalism that she brings to her new leadership position will be invaluable assets for our state as we continue to forge stronger economic and diplomatic ties with our largest international trading partner and neighbor to the south.”

She joined APS in 1997 and has held various roles spanning from corporate economic development to customer care in the call center. In addition, she previously served as Senior Vice President for Public Affairs at the Arizona Chamber of Commerce, where she was responsible for general advocacy for the Arizona business community. Jessica has worked extensively in economic and community development arenas throughout Arizona, the southwestern United States and northern Mexico.

“Jessica has shown exemplary leadership since joining our board of directors in 2014,” said Marcos Garay, AMC Executive Director. “She is a respected leader in our community and will continue to play an important role in developing collaboration between Arizona and Mexico. The Arizona-Mexico Commission is very fortunate to have her as president.”

Jessica holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Arizona and recently completed the Executive Education Program at Stanford University Graduate School of Business. She lives in Phoenix and is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese.

“I am honored to serve the governor as AMC President.  The importance of Arizona’s relationship with Mexico cannot be underscored enough.  I look forward to working with the AMC team and our friends in Mexico to enhance our partnership,” said Jessica Pacheco.

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For Immediate Release: November 30, 2016
Contact: Ruth Soberanes
rsoberanes@az.gov  -or- 602-323-4784

Arizona Governor Ducey will travel to Hermosillo, Sonora to join Sonora Governor Claudia Pavlovich in leading the Arizona-Mexico Commission and Comisión Sonora- Arizona Annual Meeting

PHOENIX, Ariz. – Arizona Governor Doug Ducey will travel to Hermosillo, Sonora on Friday, December 2, 2016 to join Sonora Governor Claudia Pavlovich in leading the two-day winter meeting of the Arizona-Mexico Commission (AMC) and Comisión Sonora- Arizona (CSA). The Governors will reaffirm their commitment to growing economic prosperity in the Arizona-Sonora region, meeting with notable leaders of the public and private sectors from both sides of the border and championing AMC and CSA committee-led initiatives that promote trade and binational information sharing.

The meeting’s theme, “Megaregion, a partnership that generates results,” is founded on the premise that our two states act as a single Megaregion in order to expand, retain and attract business and grow jobs. In the Megaregion, companies can tap into a binational supply chain, top-ranked higher education systems and skilled workforce, modern infrastructure and a low tax burden. Additionally, the strategic geographic location of the Arizona-Sonora megaregion provides access to major international growth markets.

The meeting will take place just days after Governor Pavlovich joined Governor Ducey and Lucid Motors Executives in Phoenix to announce the new electric car company will build its manufacturing center in Casa Grande, Arizona, in 2017. One of the factors in the selection was Arizona’s proximity to Mexico and the robust supply chain that the Arizona-Sonora region has to offer.

The Governors will participate in other key cross-border initiatives in areas such as economic development, tourism, education, energy and transportation that advance the objectives of the Megaregion. For example, the State of Sonora’s Energy Commission and the Arizona Governor’s Office of Energy and Natural Resources policy will sign a Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate in the production of an energy roadmap intended to allow our states to harness our competitive advantages in the development of a dynamic energy industry.

Additionally, Arizona and Sonora share a number of environmental issues related to water, air, solid waste and wildlife which transcend political boundaries. The Governors will sign a Memorandum of Understanding between both states for the development and implementation of an environmental strategic plan in the Megaregion.

These and many more developments are expected to have a positive aftermath for our region, and send a clear message that Arizona and Sonora, privileged by their geography and location, stand as economic development partners and engines for global competitiveness in North America.
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For Immediate Release: May 24, 2016
Contact: Ruth Soberanes
rsoberanes@az.gov  -or-  602-542-1287

Cross-border traffic on the rise between Arizona and Mexico

Jobs, economic development benefit from traffic increase

PHOENIX – Nearly 8,000 more trucks, 400,000 more passenger vehicles and 900,000 more people entering the U.S. in 2015 through Arizona’s international ports of entry speak to numbers critical to this state’s economy:

  • $30 billion in imports and exports passing through Arizona’s ports during the year, including much of the produce consumed in the U.S. during the winter.
  • $16.8 billion in Arizona-Mexico total trade during 2015.
  • 100,000 Arizona jobs supported by trade with Mexico.
  • $7.8 million spent daily by those visiting Arizona from Mexico.

“The impact of our ports of entry is far reaching,” said Governor Doug Ducey. “The increase in cross-border traffic is another example of Arizona’s flourishing business climate and growing opportunities for economic development.”

U.S. Department of Transportation figures for northbound traffic at Arizona ports of entry showed commercial trucks up 2.1 percent (388,657 total), passenger vehicles up 4.5 percent (8.9 million total) and people visiting Arizona up 4.1 percent (23.8 million total).

U.S. DOT data show that traffic has increased steadily through the years at ports of entry in Nogales, San Luis, Douglas, Lukeville, Naco and Sasabe:

“This amount of cross-border traffic and the continual upward trend in volume means we must continue to make smart investments at the border and ensure that our ports of entry have the necessary staffing and resources to operate effectively, efficiently and safely,” said John Halikowski, director of the Arizona Department of Transportation. “ADOT is working to improve transportation infrastructure at the border, along with traffic flows, with projects slated for State Route 189 and Interstate 19, and ongoing efforts to study how to build Interstate 11 from Nogales to the Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge.”

David Farca, president of the Arizona-Mexico Commission, noted that the figures don’t reflect the fact that ports handle southbound traffic as well.

“In reality, our ports of entry processed close to 800,000 trucks, 17 million cars, 48 million people and 1,600 trains,” Farca said. “The ports of entry that connect Arizona to Mexico are of great significance to our economy.”

Arizona also sees considerable sales tax revenue from people who pass through ports of entry to shop, not only in the border communities but the Tucson and Phoenix areas as well.

“A vibrant business relationship with Mexico is key to the growth of Arizona’s economy,” said Sandra Watson, president and CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority. “Our region shares many assets and strengths in areas such as advanced manufacturing, aerospace, optics, agriculture and much more. Continuing to link resources and leverage assets such as infrastructure and transportation will diversify our economy and enhance our region’s overall competitive position.”

The Arizona Department of Transportation, the Arizona Commerce Authority, the Arizona-Mexico Commission and the Arizona Office of Tourism promote trade and quality infrastructure as members of the Transportation and Trade Corridor Alliance (azttca.org). The group, which also includes community leaders in transportation and international trade, was created in 2012 to help boost economic development and create jobs.

AMC Media Advisory
For Immediate Release: March 30, 2016
Media contact: Ruth Soberanes
rsoberanes@az.gov -or- 602-542-1287

PHOENIX – Governor Doug Ducey today announced the appointment of Marcos Garay as executive director of the Arizona-Mexico Commission (AMC).

“Strengthening Arizona’s relationship with our largest trade partner, Mexico, is an important priority for my administration,” said Governor Ducey. “With his extensive experience and expertise, Marcos will help us take Arizona’s relationship with Mexico to new levels.”

Mr. Garay is an accomplished senior executive with a background in international business and operating success in financial services. He recently served as President & CEO of Nafinsa Securities in New York City as well as Managing Director at BBVA Bancomer in Mexico City. He also served as Chairman of the Board of Bancomer Financial Services in Houston.

“Marcos will undoubtedly be an excellent addition to the AMC team,” said David Farca, President of the Arizona-Mexico Commission. “He is an experienced professional with deep understanding of Mexico and Arizona roots. We are excited to welcome him on board in April.”

Mr. Garay received a degree in Operations and Production Management from the University of Arizona and an MBA from Thunderbird Global School of Management.

Arizona, Mexico sign agreement to further develop binational trade corridor
Corridor will enhance development of I-19, Mexico Highway 15, future I-11

PHOENIX – Arizona and Mexico will further their collaboration on developing the key trade corridor connecting them under an agreement signed this week by Arizona Department of Transportation Director John Halikowski and Raul Murrieta Cummings, undersecretary of infrastructure for Mexico’s Ministry of Communications and Transport.
The memorandum of understanding, signed Tuesday in Mexico City, establishes a joint planning committee that will produce a study of ways to improve the corridor along Interstate 19 in Arizona and Highway 15 in Mexico. The primary north-south route in western Mexico and the western United States, the corridor feeds into Arizona’s port of entry system along with Arizona’s and Mexico’s highway systems.

The Arizona portion of the corridor will also serve as part of the anticipated route of Interstate 11, a multimodal transportation corridor from Nogales to the Hoover Dam bypass bridge. From there, I-11 will expand into northern Nevada, potentially reaching as far as Canada.

“Our efforts to strengthen the Arizona-Mexico relationship are already resulting in great success, including the signing of this agreement between ADOT and the Mexican federal Ministry of Communications and Transport,” Governor Doug Ducey said. “These efforts will grow our binational trade and make our freight and trade corridor one of the most competitive in the global market.”

Mexico is Arizona’s largest international trading partner, with $16 billion annually in imports and exports. By working together to invest in transportation infrastructure on both sides of the border, Arizona and Mexico will realize opportunities for connectivity, economic development and job growth.

“This is the culmination of years of building the right relationships and a continuation of Governor Ducey’s commitment to fostering a closer working relationship with Mexico,” Halikowski said. “Governor Ducey has challenged us to think big, to think as a business, and with this study we will push our sphere of influence beyond the border, helping Arizona companies tap into new business opportunities in Mexico. This will also help us position our corridor as a viable, cost-effective alternative to the corridors connecting Mexico to the Texas border.”

Mexico has pledged $100,000 and ADOT $200,000 toward the first phase of the multiyear Arizona-Mexico Corridor Study, which will identify priority transportation projects, solutions to congestion and backups along the Arizona-Mexico border, ideas to make the corridor more efficient for multimodal transportation, and technologies to improve efficiency and reliability. The study will also focus on identifying clusters for job creation and economic development along the entire corridor.

“This one-of-a-kind study will set us apart from the rest and help us market our region throughout the world,” Halikowski said.

ADOT is a member of the Transportation and Trade Corridor Alliance, which includes the Arizona-Mexico Commission, the Arizona Commerce Authority and the Arizona Office of Tourism, along with other partner agencies. The alliance focuses on creating economic development opportunities for Arizona and Mexico through investment in transportation infrastructure, partnerships and strategic planning.

“The Arizona-Mexico Corridor Study promises to bring greater understanding of the economic opportunities that exist for our region,” said David Farca, president of the Arizona-Mexico Commission. “In addition, it will help us raise awareness of Arizona’s strategic geographic position in the heart of an economically powerful mega-region that gives us a competitive advantage in the global market and makes Arizona a prime location to do business.”

Over the last few years, ADOT and the Federal Highway Administration, along with the U.S. General Services Administration and U.S. Customs and Border Protection, have invested more than $250 million in improvements at the Mariposa Port of Entry in Nogales ‒ improvements that benefit the overall corridor. Plans are moving forward to improve State Route 189 to enhance the flow of commercial truck traffic and to ensure international commerce can efficiently and safely travel between Arizona and Mexico.

During the meeting preceding the signing ceremony, Halikowski pushed for additional improvements to the Mexican side of Arizona’s ports of entry. Mexico’s Ministry of Communications and Transport reaffirmed its commitment of $2.2 billion for improvements to the Highway 15 corridor from Mexico City to the Arizona-Mexico border.

This week’s agreement promises to add not only needed infrastructure, but global opportunities.

“Arizona’s relationship with Mexico continues to grow and strengthen thanks to Governor Ducey’s efforts and ambitious trade agenda,” said Sandra Watson, president and CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority. “In 2015 alone, Mexico accounted for more than $9 billion in Arizona exports. Conducting this study is an excellent step in enhancing the competitiveness of the Arizona-Mexico Corridor. Doing so will facilitate increased cross-border trade and advance Arizona’s position in the global economy.”

The Arizona-Mexico Corridor Study is expected to begin later this year. For more information about the Transportation and Trade Corridor Alliance, visit azttca.org.