Trade through Nogales could exceed $35 billion in 2014

The Nogales Port Authority Board has seen a substantial increase in truck traffic and the overall value of trade through the Mariposa Port of Entry since 2010.

The dollars of trade goods transported through the Mariposa Port of Entry, estimated at $20-$25 billion in 2011 , and is now estimated at $30-35 billion in 2014, given numbers the US Customs and Border Inspection has provided to local officials, said Bruce Bracker, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Greater Nogales-Santa Cruz County Port Authority. This represents a 50 to 75 percent increase in the value of trade. Fiscal year data from US Customs and Border Patrol adjusted to calendar years shows that the volume of truck traffic has also grown. Truck volumes grew approximately 13 percent in a five-year period, from 276,877 trucks in 2009 to 311,669 trucks in 2013.

“The growth in the dollar value of trade can be attributed to continued growth in high-value goods crossing the border in various sectors, such as automotive, mining and aerospace industries,” said Hector Suarez, incoming President of the Nogales Customs Brokers Association.

With the expansion to the Mariposa Port of Entry in Nogales, the possibilities for future growth are projected to grow at an even faster rate over the next decade.

“Over the next 10 years, the international port expansion will continue to contribute to tremendous growth for our community,” said Nils Urman, representing Nogales Community Development. Urman is also a member of the City of Nogales’ economic development and tourism advisory board and a board member of the Greater Nogales-Santa Cruz County Economic Development Foundation. “Enhanced staffing of the port, along with current investments in Mexican infrastructure, will complement the US investment in our port and expedite trade. Trade opportunities are both northbound and southbound. We will continue to see increases in export trade southbound into Mexico.”

The State of Arizona has acknowledged the importance of growth trends, investing recently in a Border Communities Roadmap, available at http://www.azmc.org/border-roadmap/. Four state agencies are collaborating with Arizona’s border communities’ work in this work: the Arizona Mexico Commission, the Arizona Office of Tourism, the Arizona Department of Transportation and the Arizona Commerce Authority.

“We in the economic development community in Santa Cruz County, Arizona support the state’s engagement in this process. We are encouraged they have prepared the roadmap, which recognizes the importance of US-Mexico trade in border communities, of which Nogales constituted 85 percent of that Arizona-Mexico trade, or $42 billion, in 2013. The state’s engagement is important, just as it is at the national levels in the state of Sonora, US and the international trade community,” said Urman.

The Mariposa Port is positioned to benefit from two trends moving ever-increasing amounts of both trade north and south, for ever-increasing imports and exports through the Mariposa Port. The United States has had four straight record-breaking years of exports. The U.S. hit an all-time high of $2.3 trillion dollars last year – up $700 billion from 2009, according to Penny Pritzer, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce. Meanwhile, Mexico is expected to add $20 billion to $60 billion in manufactured exports through the U.S. over the next five years according to a recent Boston Consulting Group report. Mexico ever increasing competitive edge includes low labor costs and proximity to U.S. markets. Mexican manufacturing reached a tipping point in 2012, when average manufacturing costs in Mexico, adjusted for productivity, dropped below those of China.