Foreign Trade and Relations

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The 11th annual International State of the State will be held October 5 by the Phoenix Committee on Foreign Relations. The event, which seeks to build on the themes of international economic, business and political engagement between Arizona and the world, will be keynoted by Governor Doug Ducey, who recently facilitated the establishment of a Mexican trade office in Phoenix. Phoenix Mexican consul general Roberto Rodriguez Hernandez and Eduardo González Díaz de León, deputy trade and investment Commissioner for ProMexico, the new Mexican trade office in Phoenix, will talk about the relationship between Arizona and Mexico, its biggest trading partner.

TED SIMONS: Coming up next on "Arizona Horizon," the latest on trade development between Arizona and Mexico. Also tonight, we'll learn about an upcoming summit on the life cycle of innovation. And a local author discusses the virtues of writing. Those stories next on "Arizona Horizon."

VIDEO: "Arizona Horizon" is made possible by contributions from the Friends of Eight, members of your Arizona PBS station. Thank you.

TED SIMONS: Good evening and welcome to "Arizona Horizon," I'm Ted Simons. Liquid water has been found on Mars. A new study released today found that water flows during warm months on the planet and then recedes when Mars cools down. The study involved a camera operated by the University of Arizona and was led by a U of A student who is now at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Scientists still aren't sure where the water is coming from. Likely sources include a local aquifer or melting ice, or perhaps some other point of origin. The 11th annual international state of the state will be held October 5th by the Phoenix Committee On Foreign Relations. The event looks to build on the themes of economic and political engagement between Arizona and the world. Here now to talk about trade issues between Arizona and Mexico are Mexican Consul General Roberto Rodriguez Hernandez and Eduardo Gonzalez Diaz De Leon, Deputy Trade and Investment Commissioner for Pro-Mexico, the new Mexican trade office in Phoenix. Good to have you both here, thanks for joining us. The status, the state of trade between Arizona and Mexico. Where are we now?

ROBERTO HERNANDEZ: Well, we do have a new atmosphere, a better relationship with the administration. Obviously, the Ducey administration have been working very hard in order to enhance the relationship with Mexico. By far, we are the main partner, trade partner with Arizona. We have an interchange of more than almost $15 billion in products.

TED SIMONS: Is a change in policy, a change in tone, a little bit of both? What change is working out the best?

ROBERTO HERNANDEZ: Well, we do not have any kind of rejection regarding any issue. We are working in different fields, but especially on the economic area as well as on education and cultural ties. We are working hard on that.

TED SIMONS: As far as pro-Mexico, what pro-Mexico?

EDUARDO GONZALEZ DIAZ DE LION: Well Ted, pro-Mexico is the Mexican government agency that promotes international business. We are a government institution, our head secretary of the administrative economy and we have around the world 50 offices. In North America, we have 17 offices and the newest one in North America.

TED SIMONS: How important to have an office in Arizona?

EDUARDO GONZALEZ DIAZ DE LION: As the consulate mentioned, trade business climate is changing. We think it's a good moment to start developing that business interest on both sides of the border. Also in the states and in the cities. So we think strategically, Phoenix and Arizona in general provide a great location to do business in Mexico and Mexican products.

TED SIMONS: The symbolism of opening an office in Arizona. Talk to us about that.

ROBERTO HERNANDEZ: Well, we want more trade. We want better relationships and especially because different kinds of institutions have been working hard on that, like the chamber of commerce of Phoenix, the Hispanic chamber of commerce, especially the important work of the Phoenix committee on foreign relations, they are working hard in order to try to restore the relationship that seems to me was broken because the last administration was very noisy about immigration.

TED SIMONS: Noisy is an interesting way of putting it. Evidence of putting economics ahead of politics? Is that what you're seeing right now?

ROBERTO HERNANDEZ: Well, I see different kinds of actions that have been taken in the proper direction. That's what I see.

TED SIMONS: And again, do you see, first of all, I want to go back to what you said earlier, it sounds like there have been a number of these offices opened around the country and we're just now getting one in Arizona. What took so long?

EDUARDO GONZALEZ DIAZ DE LION: Well, we are a small organization that tries to cover a whole big area. So before the office in L.A. used to be in charge of Arizona, Utah, so it was a huge area for that office, so far away. So now, we think it's the right moment to open a new office here in Phoenix.

TED SIMONS: As far as trade and investment are concerned, what needs improvement? What can be helped here?

EDUARDO GONZALEZ DIAZ DE LION: The main sectors that we are focusing on is aerospace, advanced manufacturing, anything related to medical device manufacturing. And also, the ecosystem of innovation I think is pretty interesting here in Arizona, how can we help increase the ecosystem? How can we be a partner to those people coming with the new ideas?

TED SIMONS: And as far as investment again and trade, areas that are doing well, areas that could use some help?

ROBERTO HERNANDEZ: Of course. But at the end of the road, we are going to see a lot of shifts either way for Mexicans and for Mexican-Americans and for the American-American people here in the United States and Mexico because the whole region is going to be benefited for this.

TED SIMONS: But I'm trying to figure out what kind of trade has worked well in the past and you want to continue and grow and maybe I guess bioscience and medical and these, aerospace, other things that you think might need a little bit of a boost?

ROBERTO HERNANDEZ: Well, we need to create human capital. We need to create a center for training different people either way for Mexico and from the United States in order to be ready to participate in the new investments.

TED SIMONS: So how will you know, the easing of tensions, new administration, new tone, new outlook on this side of the border, equates to better trade on both sides of the border?

ROBERTO HERNANDEZ: Well, obviously, it's going to be creating more opportunities for the economy, more opportunities for the people of Arizona. And I hope that the population can see the state, from Governor Ducey, he's going to be very clear about the need to reinforce, to re-enhance the relationship with Mexico and with Canada.

TED SIMONS: And as far as pro-Mexico is concerned, office opens when?

EDUARDO GONZALEZ DIAZ DE LION: We are planning to open the office around the end of October, first week of November.

TED SIMONS: And for those of us who are looking from the outside, how do we know things really are better? What are the signs?

EDUARDO GONZALEZ DIAZ DE LION: Well, for one, the governor was in Mexico a few months ago, leading a trade delegation into Mexico. Next week, there's going to be another trade delegation to Mexico from the city mayors so I think that's a very good sign that the relationships are getting better.

TED SIMONS: All right. Gentlemen, good to have you both here, thank you so much.

EDUARDO GONZALEZ DIAZ DE LION: Thank you. Appreciate it.

Roberto Rodriguez Hernandez:Phoenix Mexican consul general,Eduardo González Díaz de León:Deputy trade and investment Commissioner for ProMexico

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