/ Modified may 27, 2016 3:58 p.m.

Arizona Ports of Entry Funnel Billions in International Trade

Arizona Week goes to the state's busiest crossing point– the Mariposa Port of Entry

More than $31 billion of trade between the U.S. and Mexico funneled through Arizona’s ports of entry last year, a University of Arizona study found.

“The border ports of entry in Arizona matter not just for Arizona’s ability to export. It really affects the nation’s ability to export,” said George Hammond, Economic and Business Research Center director at the University of Arizona Eller College of Management.

Arizona Week Friday looks at the expansive international exchange that dictates a way of life in many border towns.

For example, the Mariposa Port of Entry in Nogales is Arizona’s largest and busiest trade connection to Mexico.

Customs and Border Protection spent $250 million to renovate the port in 2014. The improvement created four new commercial lanes of traffic and eight lanes for private vehicles.

The expansion has doubled trade in two years and Mexican produce crossings have topped 4 billion pounds in the last two seasons.

Jaime Chamberlain, president of J-C Distributing Inc., said the port improvements are a good example of how investment in the border can boost business. He said he would like to see more attention paid to port infrastructure and the condition of connecting roads.

“We need to work our ports of entry at the speed of business,” Chamberlain said.

On the program:

  • George Hammond, Economic and Business Research Center director at the University of Arizona Eller College of Management
  • Richard Rubin, CEO, Javid LLC, Index Mexico
  • Jaime Chamberlain, president, J-C Distributing Inc.
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