September 7, 2018 / Modified sep 7, 2018 3:46 p.m.

Southern Arizona Produce Distributors Await Results of NAFTA Talks

Industry leaders say trade with Mexico is crucial to the region.

As NAFTA talks between the United States and its neighbors ramp up, those in Southern Arizona whose livelihoods depend on trade are watching closely. That includes Scott Vandervoet, owner of Vandervoet & Associates and chairman of the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas. Member companies import fruit and produce from Mexico and distribute those goods across the U.S. and Canada. Vandervoet discussed what he would like federal negotiators to know is on the line for companies like his.

"This is a very vibrant economy and a vibrant community that's dependent on U.S.-Mexico trade. And hampering that trade would have detrimental effects to our area," Vandervoet said. "You can't put a price on it. It is our entire livelihood and our future."

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