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Mayor Greg Stanton Trade Mission Trip to Mexico

Airdate: April 6, 2017
Mayor Greg Stanton talks to us about his latest trade mission trip to Mexico. The city opened another trade office and signed trade agreements with two other cities in Mexico.

Guests:
  • Greg Stanton - Mayor of Phoenix
Category: Government

Keywords: Mayor Stanton, Phoenix, mexico, mission trip,

View Transcript
JOSE: LAST WEEK, PHOENIX MAYOR GREG STANTON WAS IN MEXICO TO STRENGTHEN THE CITY'S ECONOMIC RELATIONS WITH THAT COUNTRY. THE CITY OPENED A TRADE OFFICE IN HERMOSILLO, ITS SECOND IN THE COUNTRY. AND PHOENIX, SIGNED TRADE INVESTMENT AGREEMENTS WITH TWO ADDITIONAL MEXICAN CITIES. JOINING ME TO TALK ABOUT THIS IS MAYOR GREG STANTON. MAYOR, WELCOME TO "HORIZONTE."

GREG STANTON: GREAT TO BE HERE.

JOSE: YOU SPENT A LOT OF TIME IN MEXICO BUT THAT IS NOTHING NEW. YOU MADE HOW MANY TRIPS?

GREG STANTON: I HAVE BEEN MAYOR OF PHOENIX FOR FIVE YEARS AND I HAVE BEEN TO MEXICO 18 TIMES ON VARIOUS TRADE MISSIONS. OPENED A TRADE OFFICE IN MEXICO CITY AND ALSO TAKING BUSINESS DELEGATIONS ACROSS THE BORDER AND AROUND MEXICO. IT IS IMPORTANT TO HAVE A REGULAR PRESENCE IN MEXICO THAT I AS MAYOR MAKE A CLEAR CASE HOW IMPORTANT THAT RELATIONSHIP IS TO THE PEOPLE OF PHOENIX AND IN ORDER TO DO THERE YOU HAVE TO BE THERE REGULARLY.

JOSE: YOU HAVE FACED HEADWINDS. FIRST AT THE STATE LEVEL. GOVERNOR BREWER WAS NOT POPLAR IN MEXICO WHATEVER PEOPLE MAY THINK OF HER. AND NOW WITH THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION. HOW MUCH MORE DIFFICULT IS THIS MAKING YOUR JOB?

GREG STANTON: IT IS MAKING A MUCH MORE DIFFICULT. GOVERNOR BREWER WAS SUPPORTIVE OF 1070 AND OUR MEXICAN POPULATION AND MEXICO RELATIONSHIP SET US BACK. THEY BOYCOTTED A REGULAR SCHEDULED EVENT. MEXICO IS OUR NUMBER ONE TRADING PARTNER. WE CANNOT TURN OUR BACK TO MEXICO. WE NEED TO BE PARTNERS WITH MEXICO. NORMALLY A CITY WOULDN'T HAVE ITS OWN FOREIGN POLICY. BUT YOU KNOW WHAT? I HAVE TO DO WHAT IS IN THE BEST INTEREST OF MY COMMUNITY. TRYING TO LEAVE MY BULLY PULPIT AND LEADERSHIP POSITION TO REBUILD AND REPAIR THOSE RELATIONSHIPS SO WE CAN ADVANCE ECONOMICALLY. I HAD TO DO IT. THAT IS WHAT I DID. THE MAYOR, MYSELF, WE HAVE DONE TRIPS TOGETHER AND ROLLED UP OUR SLEEVES TO SEND A MESSAGE TO THE BUSINESSES IN MEXICO THAT YOU ARE WANTED IN PHOENIX AND WE NEED YOU FOR YOUR ECONOMIC SUCCESS.

JOSE: AND YOU FOUND A KIND SPIRIT IN THE GOVERNOR.

GREG STANTON: WE LOST A LOT OF THE BUSINESS AFTER 1070 BECAUSE THE PERCEPTION LEFT WAS OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH MEXICO IS NOT A PRIORITY. TOURISM IS HUGE. YES, THE CITIES HELPING LEAD THE WAY, THE GOVERNOR HAS DONE A GOOD JOB AS GOVERNOR TO HELP REPAIR THOSE RELATIONSHIPS PERSONALLY TRAVELING TO MEXICO, GREETING THE GOVERNOR FROM SONORA AND MAKING MAJOR BUSINESS ANNOUNCEMENTS. AS A STATE, WE ARE HEADED IN THE RIGHT WAY. AT THE FEDERAL LEVEL, ONE OF THE CANDIDATES RAN A CAMPAIGN DEMONIZING MEXICO AND UNFORTUNATELY AT THE FEDERAL LEVEL I THINK WE ARE HEADED IN THE WRONG DIRECTION.

JOSE: ARE YOU RUNNING INTO ISSUES BECAUSE OF THE COMMENTS OF THIS CANDIDATE?

GREG STANTON: ABSOLUTELY. THERE IS FEAR IN MEXICO ABOUT WHAT THIS MEANS FOR THE FUTURE OF THE U.S.-MEXICO RELATIONSHIP. WE ARE BECOMING MORE OF AN INTERNATIONAL ECONOMY. I WOULD ARGUE FOR PHOENIX THAT IS A STRATEGIC ADVANTAGE FOR US BECAUSE OF OUR DIVERSE POPULATION. OUR LATINO POPULATION. PHOENIX IS SOON TO BE A MAJORITY LATINO CITY. A YOUNG, BILINGUAL, ENTREPRENEURIAL POPULATION. WE WILL ADVANCE VERY WELL LOCALLY AND THERE IS FEAR LOCALLY AND IN MEXICO THAT THIS NEGATIVE RHETORIC ABOUT BUILDING AN UNNECESSARY WALL WITH REGARD TO IMMIGRATION POLICIES, SENDING PEOPLE BACK TO MEXICO, LEAVING FAMILIES HERE. ALL THAT NEGATIVITY IS GOING TO HURT THAT RELATIONSHIP. IT IS UP TO MAYORS ACROSS THE UNITED STATES, PARTICULARLY IN BORDER COMMUNITIES, THAT WE SEND THE MESSAGE THE RELATIONSHIP WITH MEXICO IS IMPORTANT AND WE NEED THAT RELATIONSHIP. I WILL USE BY BULLY PULPIT DESPITE THE RHETORIC COMING OUT OF WASHINGTON TO MAKE THE OPPOSITE CASE. OUR LOCATION TO MEXICO, AND THE GROWING MIDDLE CLASS IN MEXICO AND ECONOMY IS HUGE. WE WANT TO EMBRACE IT.

JOSE: I WANT TO TALK ABOUT THE POSITIVE THINGS THAT HAPPENED IN THE LAST COUPLE MONTHS. WE HAVE A PICTURE WITH YOU MEETING WITH THE MAYOR THERE. THIS WAS IN CONNECTION WITH THE SIGNING OF THE TRADE AGREEMENT?

GREG STANTON: THAT IS RIGHT. WE HAVE DIRECTLY MADE TRADE AGREEMENTS JUST SOUTH OF SINALOA. OUR SISTER CITY, WE HAVE A GREAT RELATIONSHIP WITH. MEXICO CITY WE AGREEMENTS WITH. WE HAVE A GREAT RELATIONSHIP WITH THE TECH CAPITOL OF MEXICO. WE HAVE BEEN STRATEGIC WHERE WE SIGNED AGREEMENTS SO WE WILL GET FOREIGN INVESTMENT FROM THE COMMUNITIES AND TOURISM. THOSE ARE PRIORITY COMMUNITIES WITHIN THE COUNTRY OF MEXICO AND I THINK IT IS APPROPRIATE PHOENIX WOULD ENGAGE DIRECTLY WITH THESE OTHER COMMUNITIES BECAUSE IT IS GOOD FOR JOBS LOCALLY.

JOSE: SONORA IS OUR SISTER STATE. VERY STRONG TIES THERE. WE HAVE A COUPLE PICTURES OF THE OPENING OF THE TRADE OFFICE THERE WE WILL PUT ON THE SCREEN. TELL US ABOUT THE TRADE OFFICE, ITS SIGNIFICANCE AND HOW MUCH OF A DIFFERENCE IT WILL MAKE?

GREG STANTON: WE HAD AN EXISTING OFFICE IN MEXICO CITY ALREADY. WE ARE ONLY THE SECOND CITY IN THE UNITED STATES TO OPEN UP A TRADE AND INVESTMENT OFFICE. SAN ANTONIO BEAT US TO THE PUNCH BUT WE WERE SECOND AND WANT TO LEAD THE WAY. IT WAS IMPORTANT BECAUSE OF THE NATURAL TIES WITH NORTHERN MEXICO THAT WE HAVE A PERMANENCE PRESENCE IN MEXICO AND OUR SISTER CITY MADE THE MOST SENSE IN THAT REGARD. WE HAD IMMEDIATE DIVIDENDS FROM OPENING THAT OFFICE. A MANUFACTURER IS GOING TO BE OPENING UP A MANUFACTURING FACILITY HERE IN PHOENIX RIGHT BY SKY HARBOR AIRPORT CREATING JOBS HERE LOCALLY. YOU WILL SEE MORE AND MORE ANNOUNCEMENTS OF THAT KIND AS A RESULT OF THIS NORTHERN MEXICO OFFICE. IT IS A NATURAL FOR US THAT WE WOULD ADVANCE MORE IN THAT AREA. I AM SUPER EXCITED ABOUT WHAT THAT MEANS FOR THE FUTURE OF OUR COMMUNITY.

JOSE: MAYOR, ONE LAST QUESTION. YOU TALK ABOUT THE ROLE OF MAYORS AND WHAT THEY CAN DO IN THIS CLIMATE. ANYTHING SPECIFIC YOU HAVE IN MIND GIVEN THESE ARE NATIONAL ISSUES? WHAT PEOPLE AT THE LOCAL LEVEL CAN DO?

GREG STANTON: WELL, SPEAK OUT. OBVIOUSLY IF I THINK THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES IS ADOPTING POLICIES THAT WILL HURT THE PHOENIX ECONOMY, I HAVE TO SPEAK OUT ON IT. IF HE TAKES US IN THE WRONG DIRECTION WITH REGARD TO OUR FRIENDS IN MEXICO I HAVE TO SPEAK OUT. IF I BELIEVE, AS I DO, THAT HIS IMMIGRATION POLICIES WILL HURT THE ECONOMY BY BREAKING UP FAMILIES I HAVE AN OBLIGATION TO SPEAK OUT. I THINK HE WILL USE FEDERAL PURSE STRINGS TO FORCE LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT TO DO THINGS THAT ARE NOT IN THE BEST INTEREST IN THE SAFETY AND TRUST OF THIS COMMUNITY. I WANT CHIEF JERI WILLIAMS TO RUN THE PHOENIX POLICE DEPARTMENT. I DON'T WANT DONALD TRUMP TO RUN THE PHOENIX POLICE DEPARTMENT AND I AS MAYOR HAVE AN OBLIGATION TO SPEAK OUT ON THESE ISSUES THAT WOULD BE CONSIDERED NATIONAL AND FEDERAL ISSUES BUT I HAVE TO REPRESENT THE PEOPLE THE BEST I CAN. I HAVE TO USE THIS BULLY PULPIT TO SPEAK ON IMPORTANT ISSUES AND ACT ON IMPORTANT ISSUES TO ADVANCE THE LOCAL ECONOMY MERE IN PHOENIX.

JOSE: THANKS, MAYOR GREG STANTON.