PHOENIX — A top Mexican diplomat is hoping to keep Arizona-Mexico ties strong after Governor-elect Katie Hobbs takes office.
Mexico’s Ambassador to the United States Esteban Moctezuma Barragán met with Hobbs Monday to discuss how Mexico and Arizona are more than neighbors. He said they are close trading partners who share similar values.
“We know we’re going to have a very good reputation because of the way we’ve worked with Arizona,” Barragán said KTAR News 92.3 FMreferring to his expectations for Mexico’s relationship with Arizona under the Hobbs administration.
Mexico is Arizona’s most important trading partner. Many in Arizona also have family ties in Mexico that stretch back generations.
Temporary governor Doug Ducey has made strengthening Arizona-Mexico ties a top priority. This week, he traveled to Mexico on his final trade mission as governor to focus on the $17 billion Arizona-Mexico trade relationship. During his time there, he met high-ranking officials and business leaders.
“Arizona and Mexico are more than just neighbors — we’re partners,” Ducey said in a statement. “Maintaining that trusting friendship has been a priority since day one.”
According to the governor’s office, Ducey’s many accomplishments include working with former Sonora Gov. Claudia Pavlovich to bring Lucid and thousands of jobs to the region, advocating the most significant international trade deal in nearly three decades, and strengthening infrastructure to enable commercial trucks and products to move more safely and efficiently across borders and on their way to consumers.
Barragán said he sees several ways Mexico and Arizona can continue to work together once Hobbs takes office, starting with water.
“We need to work together to not only know how to distribute the water better, but to produce more water — fresh water,” he said. “It works with technology. You can do that with infrastructure.”
Water use and availability of water in Arizona has become a major concern since the two reservoirs the state relies on are historically low.
At the same time, Arizona is developing into an important center for the semiconductor industry. Intel is building two massive semiconductor fabs on its Chandler campus, while Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. is building a fab in north Phoenix.
Barragán said Mexico is looking at opportunities to work with Arizona’s semiconductor industry. He pointed out that 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 that the U.S.-Mexico bilateral relationship focus on a regional approach that will help build a prosperous North America.
“I think that the future of our countries will be stronger because we are working towards this goal,” he said.