Modernized trade pact will attract new investment, grow jobs in state says new research

PHOENIX (March 19, 2019)—Arizona is positioned for strong economic growth under a new trade agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada, according to a policy review released by the Arizona-Mexico Commission, the Arizona Chamber Foundation, and the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The report, “The USMCA and Its Impact on Arizona,” finds that the new and updated provisions of the successor agreement to the North American Free Trade Agreement will strengthen Arizona’s competitive standing.

“More than 228,000 Arizona jobs are dependent on trade with Canada and Mexico,” Arizona-Mexico Commission President Jessica Pacheco said.

“The USMCA’s modernized provisions in areas like agricultural market access, digital trade, and the automotive sector will enhance Arizona’s ability to compete globally. Arizona’s relationship with Mexico is a model for North American collaboration. Adoption of the USMCA makes a good thing even better,” she added.

New data released earlier this month by the U.S. Census Bureau finds that total bilateral trade between Arizona and Mexico and Canada grew to $20.2 billion in 2018, representing a 7.7 percent increase with Mexico and a 2.4 percent increase with Canada.

“The latest trade figures tell the story of a state with an economy that is deeply integrated across international borders,” Arizona Chamber Foundation CEO Emily Anne Gullickson said.

“The adoption of the USCMA will build on Arizona’s already-outstanding environment for business and will attract more investment in our state, creating new jobs and prosperity,” she added.

According to the paper, Arizona is uniquely positioned to take advantage of the USMCA’s new provisions.

USMCA’s enhanced provisions on Intellectual Property, for instance, stand to greatly benefit many Arizona companies that want to offer new services or sell their highly innovative product lines into Mexico and Canada. Some of Arizona’s key sectors of opportunity like aerospace, financial and business services, film and digital media, and bioscience, will enjoy greater protections for their innovations in our two largest markets.

Arizona’s emerging automotive sector is also poised to benefit from the updated Rules of Origin in the USMCA, which will require more North American content for vehicles to trade duty free, and new rules setting higher minimum hourly labor rates. The paper argues, for example, that the Lucid Motors investment in Pinal County could be a sign of the increased integration of the North American automotive supply chain with the proximity to Mexico.

“This paper makes clear not only that trade benefits Arizona greatly, but that the USMCA is a modern trade agreement for the 21st century economy,” Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry President and CEO Glenn Hamer said.

“The Arizona business community is pleased to join Gov. Ducey in calling for the swift ratification of the USMCA. Let’s take advantage of all that the USMCA has to offer and launch Arizona into even more robust growth in the years ahead,” he added.

The paper was authored by Erik Lee of the North American Research Partnership and Kenn Morris of the research firm Crossborder Group.

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About the Arizona Chamber Foundation
The Arizona Chamber Foundation is a 501(c)(3) dedicated to expanding economic opportunity in Arizona through research and initiatives that focus on the core drivers of prosperity. We are committed to a non-partisan, research-driven approach that analyzes the issues impacting Arizona’s economy. It houses the A for Arizona and Chamber Business News initiatives and Arizona Industry Fellows project. Find out more at

About the Arizona-Mexico Commission
Since 1959 the Arizona-Mexico Commission, Arizona’s premier cross-border nonprofit organization, has led Arizona’s cross-border relations working to improve the economic prosperity and quality of life for all Arizonans through strong public and private collaborations in advocacy, trade, networking and information. For more information about the Arizona-Mexico Commission, visit

About the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry
The Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry is committed to advancing Arizona’s competitive position in the global economy by advocating free-market policies that stimulate economic growth and prosperity for all Arizonans. Visit and @azchamber.