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AMC Media Advisory
For Immediate Release: April 28, 2017
Media contact: Ruth Soberanes
rsoberanes@az.gov  -or-  602-323-4784

PHOENIX, Ariz. – The Arizona-Mexico Commission, together with sister organization Comisión Sonora-Arizona, hosted the Arizona and Sonora Border Mayors Forum today. Local leaders from cities located along the 300 mile Arizona-Mexico border gathered in Phoenix to discuss and identify synergies in their work supporting security and economic development in Arizona and Sonora.

“Through the work of the Arizona-Mexico Commission, Governor Ducey convened border mayors to encourage cooperation in strengthening Arizona’s commercial ties with our Sonoran neighbors,” said Juan Ciscomani, Governor Ducey’s Senior Advisor for Regional and International Affairs. “This meeting is another example of the Governor’s leadership and focus on this important relationship,” added Ciscomani.

The stakeholders heard updates from our state and federal leaders on border community enforcement initiatives and border infrastructure development opportunities, among others, including Arizona Commerce Authority President and CEO Sandra Watson, Sonoran Secretary of the Economy Jorge Vidal, Arizona Office of Tourism Director Debbie Johnson, Sonora State office of Tourism Interim Director Hector Platt, and Arizona Department of Transportation Director John Halikowski. Additionally, four Consul Generals representing the United States and Mexico in the region joined the discussion.

“We had a rich discussion on trade, tourism, and economic development efforts in Arizona and Sonora,” said Yamilett Martinez, Executive Director, Comisión Sonora-Arizona. “Our goal is to strengthen our partnership and learn how to be better ambassadors for our region.”

In 2016, for the first time Arizona’s six ports of entry processed more than 400,000 northbound trucks in one year. Additionally, the ports of entry processed nearly 50 million people in two-way traffic. The average daily dollars spent in Arizona by Mexican companies and consumers is $7.5MM. According to the University of Arizona, 70% of Arizona border cities’ tax revenue is directly attributable to the Mexican visitor.

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PHOENIX, Ariz. – La Comisión Arizona- México, conjuntamente con su organización hermana la Comisión Sonora-Arizona, organizaron hoy un foro de alcaldes fronterizos de Arizona y Sonora. Líderes locales de las ciudades ubicadas a lo largo de las 300 millas (más de 450 kilometros) de la frontera Arizona-México se reunieron en Phoenix para dialogar e identificar oportunidades de sinergia en sus esfuerzos impulsando la seguridad y el desarrollo económico en Arizona y Sonora.

“A través de los esfuerzos de la Comisión Arizona-México, el Gobernador Ducey convocó a alcaldes fronterizos para crecer la cooperación entre Arizona y nuestros vecinos en Sonora y fortalecer nuestros lazos comerciales,” dijo Juan Ciscomani, Consejero Principal de Asuntos Regionales e Internacionales de la Oficina del Gobernador Ducey. “Esta reunión es otro ejemplo del liderazgo del Gobernador y su atención a esta relación tan estrecha e importante,” sumo Ciscomani.

Los participantes recibieron información actualizada de líderes estatales y federales sobre las iniciativas de seguridad de comunidades fronterizas y las oportunidades del desarrollo de infraestructura fronteriza, entre otras, incluyendo a la Directora General de la Autoridad de Comercio de Arizona Sandra Watson, el Secretario de Economía de Sonora Jorge Vidal, la Directora de la Oficina de Turismo de Arizona Debbie Johnson, el Secretario de Turismo Interino de Sonora Héctor Platt y el Director del Departamento de Transporte de Arizona John Halikowski. Adicionalmente, cuatro Cónsules Generales de Estados Unidos y México se incorporaron a la discusión.

“Tuvimos un dialogo provechoso acerca del comercio, turismo y desarrollo económico en ambos estados, Arizona y Sonora,” dijo Yamilett Martínez, Directora de la Comisión Sonora-Arizona. “Nuestra meta es fortalecer nuestra alianza y aprender cómo ser mejores representantes de nuestra región.”

En 2016, por primera vez en la historia, los puertos de entrada de Arizona procesaron más de 400,000 camiones de carga en ruta norte en un año. Adicionalmente, los puertos de entrada procesaron cerca de 50 millones de personas en ruta norte y sur. El gasto diario promedio de compañías y consumidores mexicanos en Arizona es de $7.5 millones de dólares.  En referencia de la Universidad de Arizona, cerca del 70% de los ingresos de impuestos en las ciudades fronterizas de Arizona, proviene de los visitantes mexicanos.

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Boots on the Border:  Good for the Border

Earlier this month, Senators Jeff Flake and John McCain of Arizona, along with Senator Ron Johnson, Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, introduced the Boots on the Border Act.  This legislation is designed to remove the onerous, and at times duplicative, polygraph testing that is currently imposed on applicants that are veterans, military service members and members of other law enforcement entities that are applying for positions with US Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

CBP has not been able to fill 1,100 positions that were funded in the 2014 budget because the overly burdensome polygraph process is eliminating many veterans and current military personnel that are considering a career protecting our nation and our borders.  CBP is reporting that the Tucson sector alone has over 21% of its fulltime positions unfilled.  This condition is perpetuated by the extremely low ratio of job applicants to actual hires at CBP.

Arizona and its federal partners, CBP and the General Services Administration have invested over $400 million in port of entry infrastructure over the last 8 years but there is simply not enough staff to open-up every lane that is available.  Port Directors have to play a constant game of taking from one to open up another in order to minimize the impacts to our ports of entry and to our border communities.  Officers are forced to work extensive amounts of overtime and at times max out and cannot work anymore overtime.  CBP needs to have the necessary staff to ensure the security of our nation along with facilitating trade and tourism that are critical to the Arizona and national economy.

Arizona’s border communities report that at least 70% of the sales tax generated in each community is directly attributable to the Mexican visitor and shopper.  But if visitors have long delays to cross the border then they simply will not come to our stores and our restaurants.  Additionally, Arizona’s trade relationship with Mexico totals over $15 billion in imports and exports and without efficient ports of entry we cannot maximize the opportunities that exist for Arizona companies.

CBP has made great efforts to streamline the recruiting process but they still have a long way to go.  The Boots on the Border Act offers a new tool and a tremendous opportunity for Customs and Border Protection to recruit and hire some of the most qualified individuals our nation has to offer.  We urge the entire Arizona Congressional delegation to support this legislation.

Signed
The Honorable Gerardo Sanchez, Mayor, City of San Luis
The Honorable Doug Nicholls, Mayor, City of Yuma
The Honorable John Doyle, Mayor, City of Nogales
The Honorable Robert Uribe, Mayor, City of Douglas
John S. Halikowski, Chairman, Transportation and Trade Corridor Alliance
Jessica Pacheco, President, Arizona-Mexico Commission
Guillermo Valencia, Chairman, Greater Nogales Santa Cruz County Port Authority
The Honorable Matias Rosales, Chairman, Greater Yuma Port Authority
Carlos Fernandez, Chairman, Douglas International Port Authority
Patrick Scherden, Chairman, Douglas Regional Economic Development Corporation
Gonzalo Avila, Chairman, Fresh Produce Association of the Americas

Click Here to View Original Article

For Immediate Release

October 4, 2013

Media inquiries
Jessa B. Turner | Tech Parks Arizona | (520) 382-2485 | jbturner@uatechpark.org
Laura Shaw | Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities | (520) 609-5972 |  laura.shaw@treoaz.org
Jim Mize |Pima County One-Stop | (520) 243-6703 | jim.mize@pima.gov
Patricia A. Sullivan| New Mexico State University | (575) 646-2913|patsulli@nmsu.edu
Jennifer Sinsabaugh | New Mexico MEP | (505) 262-0921 | jennifers@newmexicomep.org
Marisa Walker | Arizona Commerce Authority | (602) 845-1297 | marisaw@azcommerce.com

$457,000 Grant Awarded to Consortium for Border Technology Manufacturing

 (Tucson, Arizona) — Innovation Frontier Southwest (IFS) was awarded a grant from the US Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration for $457,000 to develop a strategic plan for manufacturing in the southern Arizona and New Mexico region. The grant was awarded as part of the “Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership” (IMCP), an Obama Administration initiative that will help accelerate the resurgence of manufacturing in the United States and create jobs in cities across the country.

The Border Technology Manufacturing Initiative, the project developed by IFS, is a collaborative effort among government, academia and industry to build a regional strategy for manufacturing, utilizing the region’s strength in border technology. The grant is designed as a series of targeted studies that will allow the region to determine current assets and deficits. It will incorporate infrastructure, workforce, research and policy in its analysis. IFS will use the data to address and develop a strategic plan. This grant is pivotal to the next round of grant funding expected later this year.

Innovation Frontier Southwest is a collaboration of the following partners:

•             Tech Parks Arizona, The University of Arizona
•             Pima County
•             Arizona Commerce Authority
•             City of Tucson
•             Greater Yuma Economic Development Corporation
•             New Mexico Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP)
•             New Mexico State University Engineering New Mexico Resource Network
•             Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities (TREO)

The grant was announced by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, along with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy, and Acting Small Business Administrator Jeanne A. Hulit.  The $7 million in grants and other investments are the first round of funding in a major reform effort to reward communities for creating globally competitive environments that attract, retain, and expand investment in manufacturing and spur international trade and exports. These grants and investments will help communities develop plans to build strengths in specific industries through:

•       Workforce training
•       Specialized research
•       Strengthened supply chains
•       Improved transportation and energy infrastructure
•       Export promotion
•       Better access to capital

Grants and investments awarded in 2013 will help communities undertake the strategic planning necessary to compete for the IMCP Challenge being launched in fall 2013 and awarded in the spring of 2014.  In the 2014 Challenge competition, the Administration will designate stand-out “Manufacturing Communities” and give them an advantage in securing grants and investments through programs offered by 10 federal departments and agencies across the government. Moreover, top “Manufacturing Communities” may receive large IMCP Challenge grants and investments to finance – in partnership with industry and localities – substantial economic development investments such as workforce training, business parks or incubators, or infrastructure.

For more information on the entire IMCP, please visit http://www.commerce.gov/news/fact-sheets/2013/04/17/fact-sheet-investing-manufacturing-communities-partnership

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Construction on the Morley Avenue pedestrian border crossing is set to start next week U.S. Customs and Border Protection said (more…)