A new study from Business Roundtable finds that international trade supported 783,500 jobs in Arizona in 2018, having represented 1 out of every 5 jobs in the state before the pandemic.  

Since 1992, before the implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the share of jobs tied to trade in Arizona has increased by 85 percent. Additionally, the Grand Canyon State’s trade-related employment grew three times faster than total state employment from 1992 to 2018. 

Although the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in significant economic disruption to U.S. workers and businesses, the data show that opening markets to American goods and services around the world through rules-based trade is critical to U.S. economic recovery and helping American workers and families get back on their feet.

“Defeating the COVID-19 pandemic, accelerating economic recovery and expanding opportunities for all Americans depend on opening foreign markets to American goods and services, removing barriers to trade and investment and strengthening supply chain resilience,” said Lance Fritz, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Union Pacific and Chair of the Business Roundtable Trade & International Committee.  “Free and fair trade supports U.S. manufacturing, farmers and service providers by reaching more customers, strengthening U.S. innovation leadership and creating good-paying American jobs.  With tens of millions of American jobs at stake, Business Roundtable CEOs will continue to work with policymakers and key trading partners to promote rules-based trade that opens new markets and levels the playing field for American workers, farmers and businesses.”  

The study – prepared by Trade Partnership Worldwide – analyzes the latest-available employment and trade data from 2018 and examines the net impacts of both exports and imports of goods and services on American jobs.  Highlights include:

  • North America: Trade with Canada and Mexico supported 249,300 Arizona jobs, underscoring the importance of fully implementing the newly enacted United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) to strengthen North American competitiveness.
  • China: Trade with China supported 147,300 Arizona jobs in 2018, highlighting the importance of fully implementing the Phase One trade agreement, expeditiously negotiating additional structural reforms in China and removing additional tariffs and barriers to trade between the two largest economies in the world.
  • Exports: Arizona exported $22.1 billion in goods and $13.2 billion in services in 2018, including semiconductors and components, aerospace products and parts, metal ores and travel services. 
  • Small Businesses: Of Arizona’s 7,771 exporters, 87 percent are small- and medium-sized companies with less than 500 workers.

A summary of Arizona data can be found here.

The full study can be found here.