In 1959, Arizona Governor Paul Fannin founded the Arizona-Mexico Commission with a vision to foster a strong binational relationship, saying, “God made us neighbors, let us be good neighbors.” 

Sixty years later, Arizona and Mexico are more than neighbors. Through the work of the Arizona-Mexico Commission, Arizona and Sonora have partnered on issues of commerce, trade, security, health and education for the mutual benefit of both states.

As the commission celebrates its 60th anniversary this week, here are five things to know about the important Arizona-Mexico relationship:

1. Facilitating Two-Way Trade. At $16.6 billion, two-way trade between Arizona and Mexico is up 7.7 percent in 2018 compared to 2017. Innovations helping facilitate trade include SkyBridge Arizona, a first-in-the-nation inspection facility housing both U.S. and Mexican customs, Unified Cargo Processing at our ports of entry, and the Border Liaison Unit helping trucks pass border inspection more quickly.

2. Enhancing Security. Arizona and Sonora have come together to prioritize security in the shared region. In 2018, Arizona and Sonora established a Safety Corridor along Route 8 from Lukeville to Puerto Peñasco. With improved traffic flow, coordinated emergency services and signs in both Spanish and English, the corridor is making travel safer and more efficient for tourists heading to and from Mexico. 

3. Investing In Infrastructure. Arizona’s balanced budget invests $700,000 to build a new cold room inspection facility at the Mariposa Port of Entry, allowing more fresh produce to move through our ports. The investment comes on top of $134 million in funds dedicated to improving SR189, a key roadway for international commerce.

4. Promoting Tourism. Tourism is one of Arizona’s main economic drivers. In 2018, Governor Ducey and Governor Pavlovich signed an agreement to work on coordinating strategies for promoting the Arizona-Sonora Region as a “two-nation destination.” A joint marketing campaign will focus on what Arizona, Sonora, and both regions combined have to offer as a tourism destination. 

5. Strengthening Relationships. In December of 2018, Governor Ducey traveled to Mexico City for the inauguration of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. During the trip, he met with top officials including Secretary of Foreign Affairs Marcelo Ebrard. Arizona then hosted Mexico’s ambassador to the United States Martha Bárcena for her first official visit to Arizona in March. Through the AMC, Arizona is focused on developing and strengthening key relationships with our international partners.