Since the very start of 2016, Democrats have been calling for smart investments in projects that will create jobs and strengthen the economy. Our plan included money to accelerate the construction on Highway 189 for the Mariposa Port of Entry between the U.S. and Mexico.
It is one of the busiest ports in the country and Mexico remains a major trade partner with Arizona. In 2015, trade between Arizona and Mexico reached nearly $17 billion and it supported around 100,000 Arizona jobs. Investing in projects that will create jobs and strengthen Arizona’s economic competitiveness makes sense and we helped get $25 million for this port expansion in the budget. At the same time we protected the Highway User Revenue Fund from budget sweeps, because this money is used to build and repair roads and bridges. The State Transportation Board recently approved additional funding for Mariposa Port of Entry project and construction, which was scheduled to start in 2021, will now begin in 2019.
The improved conditions at the port will not only support trade between Arizona and Mexico, but it could also help tourism. Last year, people visiting Arizona from Mexico spent nearly $8 billion here. To put that into perspective, the state’s entire budget is about $9.5 billion a year.
During a recent visit to the United States, Mexico’s Minister of Tourism Enrique de la Madrid noted that trade and tourism are important factors in Arizona’s relationship with Mexico. He added that Arizona’s exports to Mexico comprise 40 percent of the state’s global exports. Democrats have long recognized the importance of Arizona’s connection to Mexico and will continue to support projects and investments that support smart, regional, economic development. It’s part of an overall plan that Democrats have been promoting to push your priorities at the state Capitol. We’ll make sure your voice is heard.