With anti-trade rhetoric coming from both sides of this upcoming presidential election, Sen. John McCain offered his stance on why trade is of high importance to Arizona’s economy, Tuesday morning during a keynote speech.

During the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce‘s Political Insider series with the senator, he said you don’t have to look much further than the Nogalas-Mariposa Port of Entry to see the benefits of trade, where trucks are lined up on both sides of the border, he mentions.

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Photos by Shannon Finn, AZ Big Media

Mexico is Arizona’s No. 1 trade partner, accounting for 30 percent of the state’s exports to foreign markets, according to the Arizona Mexico Economic Indicators annual report.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has stated he would scrap, or re-negotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA. Trump, along with Democrat Presidential Nominee Hillary Clinton, has been against the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, a trade agreement with 11 other nations in the Pacific Ocean region.

Candidates have expressed a loss in manufacturing jobs as one of the reasons to be against the trade agreements.

Trade with Mexico is important, and McCain mentioned that there are businesses directly related with trade.

“I’m not interested in cutting off our trade with Mexico. A renunciation of NAFTA would have an obviously dramatic effect,” McCain said.

The senator did say that if he were writing NAFTA today, changes would be made in regards to creating a more level playing field.

The TPP is an agreement to promote free trade, and is yet to be ratified. President Barack Obama has been pushing to have the agreement passed and signed before he leaves office.

McCain believes that the U.S. has to compete in the Pacific region, and he believes the country can.

If there need to be changes in the trade agreement, such as fixing unfair advantages, or preventing currency manipulations, then those changes need to be made, McCain said.

“But to abandon a trade agreement with the pacific region, I think would be a serious mistake,” the senator added.