Trade is critical to Arizona’s prosperity. It propels economic growth, supports good jobs, raises the quality of life, and helps Arizonans provide for their families with affordable goods and services. That is why MAG continues to build relationships with its top two trading partners. With cross-border neighbors Mexico and Canada making up 45.4 percent of Arizona’s total trade, or imports and exports of goods, the Maricopa Association of Governments is committed to increasing dialogue and strengthening strategic cross-border economic relations. In 2018, Arizona’s total trade with Mexico was valued at $16.7 billion and with Canada at $3.7 billion. To further those ties, MAG sent an Arizona delegation of leaders to Mexico City in February to participate in an economic mission. MAG also hosted a delegation of leaders from Montréal, Canada, who came to Phoenix for three days in late April. Both delegation visits allowed leaders from Arizona, Mexico and Canada to engage in networking and discussions that support and promote the economic activities between the state and two countries. The regional economic mission to Mexico City took place from February 20-22, 2019. A delegation of elected officials from Arizona met with Mexico leaders and continued to explore opportunities that will help stimulate economic development between Arizona and Mexico, and build a stronger relationship with Mexico City. Obtaining support for important commerce corridors that connect Arizona and Mexico was one of the roundtable discussions among the delegates. Together, leaders explored opportunities to enhance western economic connections through roadways in Mexico and Arizona. “These conversations with our cross-border counterparts are important to the economy of all three countries,” said Buckeye Mayor Jackie Meck, chair of MAG’s Economic Development Committee. “Not only does this dialogue help us ‘do business,’ it establishes key relationships to help us partner on issues beyond trade.” In late April, MAG welcomed a delegation from Montréal, Canada, for a three-day visit. They learned about Arizona’s economic role in the smart mobility industry and how Montréal and Arizona can both benefit economically. The delegates were given an overview of the relationship between Valley Metro and the driverless vehicle company Waymo. They also heard from representatives from Nuro, a self-driving delivery vehicle company, and toured Local Motors Chandler microfactory, where the Olli self-driving electric shuttle is built.