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Phoenix wants state funds for Mexico trade office

Arizona Rep. Tom Forese speaks at a Phoenix event intended to ask the state to match funds for a trade office in Mexico. (KTAR Photo/Jim Cross)

PHOENIX -- The city of Phoenix is ready to spend $150,000 each year to open a trade office in Mexico, but only if the state is willing to match that price.

Phoenix Councilman Michael Nowakowski said Mexico is the state's largest trading partner with about $6 billion changing hands each year and he sees Arizona becoming a hub for trade with Mexico's improved highway system moving goods to the entire United States.

"We could become a hub in transporting goods to Colorado, New Mexico, the Midwest," he said. "And that's where we have the advantage."

Still, Arizona lags far behind trade between Mexico and Texas, which he estimates is about $90 billion yearly.

Nogales Vice Mayor Nubar Hanessian welcomed the possible opening of the trade office because it would benefit his community on Interstate 19, right at the border.

"The nice thing about Mexico is that they do like the United States," he said. "They want to come here, spend money and invest in the United States."

Arizona Rep. Tom Forese of Chandler will lead the charge at the capitol to green light the funds.

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About the Author


Position: Senior News Reporter. Started with KTAR July 4, 1999.

Favorite spots in Arizona: Pinetop-Lakeside, Alpine, Greer.

Have covered some of the biggest stories in Arizona including nine of the top 10 largest wildfires in state history. The Wallow Fire in 2011 became the largest fire in state history. Rodeo-Chediski Fire in June 2002, which is the second largest fire in Arizona. Covered the Yarnell Hill Tragedy in June 2013 that left 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots dead.

Favorite movies: True Grit, both 1969 John Wayne classic and the remake with Jeff Bridges and Lonesome Dove.

Sports Teams: Washington State University Cougars, Texas Longhorns, The University of Montana Grizzlies.

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