Video: TTCA on PBS’s Arizona Horizon

AMC Executive Director, Margie Emmermann is joined by ADOT Director John Halikowski and ACA President & CEO Sandra Watson to speak about the Transportation and Trade Corridor Alliance’s Roadmap that was released in June 2014.

Nogales Gets It Right!


The Mariposa Land Port of Entry in Nogales, AZ, is the fourth busiest land port of entry in the United States. Since late 2013, 8 commercial lanes, 56 commercial dock spaces and 12 car lanes have been operational and additional improvements will be completed by August of this year. While the new port promises efficiency for current business, it also holds a wealth of potential for expanding the way business is done.

State-of-the-art infrastructure and more personnel mean wide-ranging cost savings and decreased expenses. Nogales is the best location for just-in-time delivery for Mexico’s West Coast supply chain. Nogales is the only place where the U.S. I-10/ I-19 corridor meets the ever-growing commerce on Mexico’s highway 15.

The Mariposa Port will play a pivotal role in North America’s newest northsouth trade corridor connecting Mexico through Arizona to the Pacific Northwest and Canada. Since its inception in 1995, the CANAMEX Corridor, passing through Nogales, has become the cornerstone for seamless and efficient transportation of goods, services, people and information between Canada, Mexico and the U.S. It is a geographically designated area developed to offer enhanced resources to facilitate easy transportation of freight, movement of personnel and the delivery of services along its route. Other projected interstate highway projects in Arizona promise to tie into the CANAMEX corridor and open up even more logistical advantages in the Nogales region.

Railway potential is another component of the Nogales port benefit. In May 2014, Mexican produce distributed through Nogales was shipped to the East Coast by rail for the first time in decades. The shipment opens the door to new possibilities for distributors and has opened discussions on an intermodal station in Rio Rico, AZ.

The new Mariposa Port is just the latest improvement in Ambos Nogales’ generations of world-class expert service. Beyond efficient management of border crossing (now providing the shortest wait times on the southern border), the Ambos Nogales community encompasses numerous cold-storage and warehouse facilities designed to facilitate both north and south bound trade. Many of the established distributors in Nogales offer in-and-out services for those looking for storage yet not ready to purchase or build their own warehouse.

In addition to the hundreds of thousands of feet of already existing cold storage and dry warehouse space, Nogales has several locations which are “shovel ready” and available to be built to any prospective user’s needs. Also in the works is the La Loma Grande Industrial Park encompassing 30 plus 100,000 square-foot light industrial buildings on 215 acres.

Overweight permits available from the Arizona Department of Transportation allow trucks of up to 90,800 pounds from Mexico to enter the U.S. and be offloaded at local Arizona warehouse facilities. This provision allows for significant cost savings to shippers in moving a single overweight truck through the port of entry versus multiple trucks. From a security standpoint, a sealed truck reaching the port of entry from its origination point has a better chance of preventing and/or detecting cargo tampering.

The new port also offers the asset of the Nogales-Santa Cruz County Economic Development Foundation’s (EDF) Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) No. 60 to provide critical support for the growth of bi-national trade through Nogales. The FTZ provides flexible, agile options for companies needing a FTZ for such things as management of customs duty payments or manipulation of inventory for regulatory compliance anywhere within Santa Cruz County, AZ. The EDF is currently offering 21 acres with the ability to designate and activate some or all 21 acres.


  • Eight commercial primary lanes with a capacity of 4,000+ trucks per day
  • CTPAT-FAST dedicated lanes
  • 56 commercial inspection dock spaces
  • Five commercial exit booths
  • 12 dedicated car lanes with primary inspection booths
  • 24 POV secondary inspection spaces
  • Five southbound inspection booths
  • Six southbound inspection dock spaces
  • Dedicated bus processing lane
  • Two new z-portal low energy x-ray machines
  • SENTRI ready lanes to process passenger vehicles

While well known as a major produce port, processing nearly half of the fresh Mexican produce consumed in the U.S., Mariposa offers advantages for a variety products.

Nogales is becoming the center of an aggressive “near shoring” campaign. As multinational companies tire of the challenges and expense associated with doing business in the Far East, they are rediscovering the logistics and labor benefits of being located next door to their largest market. Protection of intellectual property rights and accessibility to corporate engineers are additional advantages of being located in Northern Mexico. Currently, there are more than 110 maquila plants in Nogales, Sonora and over 60 aerospace-related manufacturing plants in the state of Sonora. Nogales’ new port and established support industries on both sides of the border offer the capacity for a successful relocation to North America.


To view the original article, please click HERE

This campaign has been underwritten by the Nogales U.S. Custom House Brokers Association. It was published in July’s Produce Business Magazine. 

Nogales: The Port Of The Future Is Here Now

The Mariposa Land Port of Entry in Nogales, AZ, is the fourth busiest land port of entry in the United States processing nearly half of the fresh Mexican produce consumed in the United States. Fresh produce has been crossing through the Nogales ports for over 100 years. The Mariposa facility has served the needs of importers, exporters and others involved in international trade for the past 40 years. In 2009 this port began significant renovations aimed at improving processing, inspections and traffic flow at the port. Since late 2013, the 8 commercial lanes, 56 commercial dock spaces and 12 car lanes have been operational and the finishing touches will be completed by August of this year. The new port is already yielding many benefits but most importantly to the users are the lower wait times to both Northbound and Southbound crossings.

Here’s what the future holds for you…

The physical improvements at Mariposa are state-of-the-art and have made the port the most modern and efficient port of entry on the U.S.-Mexico border. Cutting edge information and technology systems allow for faster and more efficient processing of information and shorter wait times. Implemented new x-ray technology allows for rapid scanning of entire trucks at once.

The finished port includes:

  • 8 commercial primary lanes with a capacity of 4,000+ trucks per day
  • CTPAT-FAST dedicated lanes
  • 56 commercial inspection dock spaces
  • 5 commercial exit booths
  • 12 dedicated car lanes with primary inspection booths
  • 24 POV secondary inspection spaces
  • 5 southbound inspection booths
  • 6 South bound inspection dock spaces
  • dedicated bus processing lane
  • 2 new z-portal low energy x-ray machines to expedite secondary and bus inspections
  • SENTRI ready lanes to process passenger vehicles

The many improvements at Mariposa lead to one crucial result – speed! From the additional lanes to the fast technology to flexible infrastructure, everything at the port is designed to increase the speed and accuracy of processing and minimize delays. Mariposa currently boasts the shortest wait times on the U.S.-Mexico border.

More inspection lanes, inspection spaces, and inspection facilities mean increased space for processing. All lanes can be switched between expedited travel lanes or regular lanes at the flip of a switch to provide real-time increased capacity for trusted traveler and shipper programs. Additionally, the port is pleased to be receiving 120 new Customs officers (8% of the total new staff in the U.S.) to facilitate product movement.

Ultimately, all the benefits of speed, accuracy and facilitated movement equal cost savings. Efficiencies in moving trucks across the border result in savings in fuel, product quality and time. So far, the new port facilities position Nogales as the best location to ensure just-in-time delivery. Did you know that on average a one hour delay can cost a loss of $6 billion in output and $1.4 billion in wages annually? The expedited crossing times in Nogales save each company money that would otherwise be lost to delays.

Mariposa also provides an additional benefit only Arizona is offering. Overweight permits available from the Arizona Department of Transportation allow trucks of up to 90,800 pounds from Mexico to enter and be broken down at local warehouses after crossing the border.

Mariposa is more than just brick and mortar. It is home to multi-generational businesses who have served the trade community for decades. The Nogales community is a thousand-year old trade region with world-class U.S. Customs Brokers drawing on generations of relationships to expedite trade. Facilities and services related to directly processing trade in produce and manufacturing are coupled with an experienced supporting logistics industry. Nogales is a world-class logistics and transportation hub.

Mariposa was built to be friendly to both the environment and the people who use it. The structure itself is designed to dissipate noise and protect those who work at the port from noise pollution. The port is LEED certified and incorporates a number of sustainable features such as a solar domestic hot water system, rain water harvesting system, advanced lighting and building automation systems, as well as recycled content material selections and low maintenance finishes that are used throughout the port’s design. Additionally, quicker border crossing and less idle time for trucks means decreased air pollution.

Mariposa’s new design accommodates future needs as well as improving today’s business. When so often the latest item is outdated only a few months after release, Mariposa intends to grow and change to embrace future growth and change. The Nogales community champions trade between Mexico, the U.S. and Canada. It is preparing its port and people to meet that future growth.

Find your future in Nogales,
go to:

To view the original article, please click HERE

This campaign has been underwritten by the Nogales U.S. Custom House Brokers Association. It was published in July’s Produce Business Magazine. 

AMC Executive Director, Margie Emmermann, Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Arizona-Mexico Commission Executive Director, Margie Emmermann, Receives Organization’s Lifetime Achievement Award

PHOENIX, AZ – Arizona-Mexico Commission (AMC) Executive Director Margie Emmermann received the rare Lifetime Achievement Award from Arizona Governor and AMC Chair Jan Brewer at the 2014 AMC Plenary Session in Phoenix on June 20, to a standing ovation from more than 400 participants from Arizona and Mexico.

The Lifetime Achievement Award is reserved for individuals who have earned “a lifetime distinction through many years of active involvement in advancing the Arizona-Mexico relationship and unique contributions to the betterment of the quality of life for the people of the Arizona-Sonora region.”

Margie earned the nickname “Queen of the Border,” Governor Brewer noted, through her two decades of service to the State of Arizona on Mexico policy issues and diplomatic relations, spanning the administrations of four Governors.   “She has been invaluable in my administration’s mission to strengthen and advance our relationship with Mexico,” Governor Brewer added.

Margie has had many notable accomplishments over the years including helping to not only save but also elevate the U.S. Consulate in Hermosillo to the level of Consulate General and leading the charge to bring a new U.S. Consulate to Nogales, Sonora, making Sonora the only Mexican state with two U.S. Consulate Generals.  Her accomplishments over the years have garnered her recognition by many organizations, including the prestigious OHTLI award which is the highest honor that the Mexican government bestows upon foreign citizens in acknowledgement of their extraordinary contributions to the empowerment of the Mexican and Mexican-American communities in the United States.

Margie began her career in state government as Policy Advisor for Mexico to Governors Fife Symington and Jane Dee Hull, where she was directly responsible for the oversight of the Arizona-Mexico Commission.  Margie then served as director of the Arizona Office of Tourism for six years where she was charged with expanding the volume of travel activity and related expenditures in Arizona through tourism promotion and development.  She has also served as director of the Arizona Department of Commerce, where she was responsible for positioning the state in the new global economy and promoting rural development.  Margie returned to the Governor’s Office in 2009 as Governor Brewer’s Policy Advisor for Mexico and Latin America and Executive Director of the Arizona-Mexico Commission.

“Margie’s leadership, mentorship and passion for growing the economy of Arizona is incomparable,” said AMC President Larry Lucero, who is Senior Director of Government Relations and Economic Development at Tucson Electric Power/UNS Energy Corporation. “She has provided sage advice to four Governors, as well as leadership and passion for the trade and cultural relationship Arizona enjoys with Sonora and Mexico.”

Joining Margie on stage at the Plenary to honor her accomplishments were several current and former AMC staff members, including Ruben Alvarez, former AMC Executive Director; James Ahlers, former special assistant to the governor for Mexico policy; Antonio Proto, former head of the Arizona state office in Hermosillo, Sonora; and Ignacio Escalante, current director of the Arizona State Office in Sonora among others.

Governor Brewer presented the AMC Lifetime Achievement Award on what she described as the “bittersweet” occasion of Margie’s final AMC plenary session as a state official.   Margie is set to retire from the State at the end of 2014.

To view the original press release, please click HERE.


Transportation and Trade Corridor Alliance completes strategic Roadmap

Transportation and Trade Corridor Alliance completes strategic Roadmap
Plan outlines job growth, trade, economic development through infrastructure

As announced at the recent Arizona-Mexico Commission Plenary Session, the Transportation and Trade Corridor Alliance completed its Roadmap, a comprehensive document designed to support moving Arizona toward a more globally competitive second century, focused on high-value trade and investment, market connectivity, and alignment of policy and actions. The Roadmap was constructed by a group of experts from the public and private sectors, brought together by Governor Jan Brewer to develop a plan to position Arizona in a fast-growing global marketplace.

The result of more than a year of work, the TTCA Roadmap makes a clear case for the need to continue to add modern and efficient transportation infrastructure to ensure Arizona’s connectivity to both domestic and global markets. This infrastructure connectivity provides the means to attract new businesses and industries, create jobs, foster trade and economic development, and secure investment and new wealth.

The entire TTCA Roadmap can be found HERE.

“I am proud to unveil this Roadmap while underscoring the time and talent that went into developing this plan for Arizona’s future,” said John Halikowski, the director of the Arizona Department of Transportation and the co-chair of the Transportation and Trade Corridor Alliance. “It is critical that we view transportation as a necessary investment to position Arizona for global competitiveness and success. The Roadmap ties together economic development and transportation to promote trade and job growth, capitalizing on our competitive advantages of doing business in Arizona.”

The Transportation and Trade Corridor Alliance was created in 2012 at the direction of Governor Brewer. Halikowski co-chairs the TTCA Steering Committee with former Arizona Congressman Jim Kolbe. Serving as vice chairs are Margie Emmermann, executive director of the Arizona-Mexico Commission and the governor’s policy advisor for Mexico and Latin America, and Sandra Watson, president and CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority. Other leaders from the transportation and business communities head up the five TTCA subcommittees: Freight; Trade and Economic Development; Education and Communication; Logistics and Supply Chain Development; and Mexico and Ports of Entry. TTCA leaders recognize that these key partnerships must reach out across the public and private sectors to accomplish the objectives set out in the Roadmap.

“The TTCA’s aggressive goal to double trade with global markets was developed as a statewide goal with input from broad-based community leaders,” said Emmermann. “It is clearly understood this goal has a much greater chance of success if we truly align efforts statewide. The TTCA is committed to partnering with all entities to strengthen Arizona’s position as a globally competitive force.”

Arizona’s opportunities are in tradable goods and services to both domestic and foreign markets. The Roadmap outlines how connectivity to these markets will help ensure Arizona’s success in the global marketplace and will facilitate an export-based economy for our state. Arizona sits in the middle of an economically powerful mega-region with accessibility to three dynamic world-class markets: Southern California, central Texas and northern Mexico. It is this advantageous location for Arizona that provides the opportunity for stronger north-south and east-west connections to major markets through existing and future transportation infrastructure.

“The TTCA Roadmap represents a significant step forward in the linkage of trade and its role as an economic driver for Arizona, and the needed transportation system to support and grow that trade,” said Kolbe. “In a world that is increasingly global in nature, supply chains are far flung and more numerous than ever.  The Roadmap provides a useful tool for business and political leaders to understand how these supply chains can be integrated with the transportation infrastructure to grow the economy and improve lives for all Arizonans.”

The TTCA Roadmap supports a plan to invest $20 billion over 20 years to improve Arizona’s existing transportation infrastructure while adding new infrastructure, focusing on Key Commerce Corridors. TTCA leaders maintain it’s this investment in infrastructure that will create the opportunity for robust connectivity. Leaders recognize that investment and connectivity is critical in order to reach a major goal set out in the Roadmap — double Arizona’s trade with Mexico and other global markets by 2025, while solidifying Arizona’s accessibility and global competitiveness.

“The TTCA Roadmap sets the long-term vision for maximizing Arizona’s infrastructure assets and strategic advantages for global business,” said Watson. “By aligning public and private sector goals, we are creating a foundation to strengthen our transportation infrastructure system and bolster Arizona’s connectivity to international markets. This will reinforce Arizona’s standing as a hub for global commerce, increase international export trade and attract new foreign direct investment into our statewide economy.”

For more on the Transportation and Trade Corridor Alliance, visit

To view the original press release, please click HERE.

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Governor Jan Brewer and Governor Guillermo Padres Come Together at the Arizona-Mexico Commission’s Plenary Session: “Arizona & Sonora: Evolution of a Region”

Governor Jan Brewer and Governor Guillermo Padres Come Together
at the Arizona-Mexico Commission’s Plenary Session:
“Arizona & Sonora: Evolution of a Region”

PHOENIX, Ariz. – Arizona Governor Janice K. Brewer hosted the Arizona-Mexico’s Commission’s (AMC) 2014 plenary session for the last time as Governor of Arizona and Chair of the AMC.  Governor Brewer and Sonora Governor Guillermo Padrés Elías reiterated their commitment to promoting economic prosperity for the region through mutual collaboration as they spent the day meeting with leaders of the public and private sectors from both sides of the border.

“As I close my last year in office, I want to let you know that I have thoroughly enjoyed our friendship and hard work, and am proud of our shared accomplishments in advancing our region’s economic competitiveness” said Governor Brewer to Governor Padres during the event’s Plenary Session.  “These commissions [AMC & CSA] working together have accomplished many critically important regional initiatives, projects that enhance the collective wellbeing of the people of Arizona and Sonora” she added.

Today, Arizona’s Transportation and Trade Corridor Alliance (TTCA) publicly released its Roadmap.  The TTCA, spearheaded by the Arizona-Mexico Commission, Arizona Department of Transportation, and Arizona Commerce Authority along with regional entities and the private sector was tasked with creating a plan to advance high value trade and investment, supported by state of the art transportation infrastructure.  This plan represents an important part of the state’s economic future and sets a bold goal of doubling Arizona’s trade with Mexico by 2025 by focusing on Arizona’s opportunities, advantages, and competitive edge.

“Imagine that,” says Governor Jan Brewer “Arizona’s trade with Mexico at $28 billion.  That means thousands of jobs for both Sonora and Arizona and hundreds of millions in new foreign direct investment. But that can only be accomplished if we adopt the necessary policies that enable our public sector to partner with the private sector and academia.”

This year’s plenary included the signing of an Agreement of Cooperation between the states of Arizona and Sonora through the Arizona Department of Water Resources and Sonora’s State Commission on Water.  This agreement allows both states to jointly evaluate the feasibility of Sea of Cortez desalination to augment and increase water supply resiliency in Arizona and Sonora.  This agreement is signed at a time where the Arizona-Sonora region is facing critical water supply challenges and experiencing extended droughts.

The two-day event also continued the annual tradition of donations from Arizona to Sonora.  Rural/Metro once again donated two ambulances to the state of Sonora, marking the ninth year that the donation has been made.  One of the ambulances donated by Rural/Metro was gifted to the City of Ures while Sonora’s Secretary of Health accepted the second.

As part of the Plenary Session, 13 of the AMC’s committees met to develop collaborative solutions for the region.  The Health Committee will promote a bi-national effort to implement an education program aimed at residents regarding the proper use of Child Safety Restraints. The Environment and Water Committee will continue collaborating with public and private sector partners in an effort to improve the region’s water resources by exchanging information on water management and treatment practices and identifying opportunities to enhance supply resiliency in both Sonora and Arizona

Lastly, the AMC recognized the people and organizations who have contributed to advancing Arizona’s relationship with Mexico by awarding the annual Tony Certósimo, Paul J. Fannin, and Dr. Andy Nichols awards.  This year, the AMC awarded the Tony Certósimo Award to ADOT Director John Halikowki, who has committed to fostering improved relations with Mexico for numerous years.  His leadership has advanced Arizona’s important cross-border agenda with Mexico and has embraced the mission of the AMC in support of a mutually beneficial bilateral relationship.

The Paul J. Fannin award, which is named after the AMC’s founder – Governor Paul Fannin – is given to an organization that has demonstrated acts of good will and support toward the Arizona-Mexico relationship.  This year, the Ventanillas de Salud was awarded the Paul Fannin award for its dedication to improving the physical and mental wellbeing of the Latino population in the US as well as maintaining a healthy environment grounded in local and binational collaboration between the United States and Mexico.

Finally, Bob Ramsey, President & CEO of the Ramsey Social Justice Foundation, was awarded the Dr. Andy Nicholls award for his efforts to improve the quality of life in the Arizona-Mexico region through binational border health initatives.  Bob Ramsey has had a lifelong dedication to helping others; just one example of this is the tradition he established while President & CEO of PMT ambulance to identify communities in Sonora that were in need of ambulances and donate annually to the most needy communities.

In addition to the three annual awards, the AMC gave a special recognition to the Arizona Commerce Authority, Arizona House of Representatives, and the City of Phoenix for their commitment to advancing the Arizona-Mexico relationship and spearheading initiatives to improve economic ties.  Their collaboration and leadership has led to the funding of an Arizona Trade Office in Mexico City that will afford Arizona the opportunity to strengthen its ties with its most important trade partner, Mexico.

More than 400 people from the U.S. and Mexico came together to promote the shared interests of the region at the AMC Plenary Session. The result will certainly contribute to the long-standing tradition of the Arizona-Mexico Commission’s record of promoting mutual prosperity and enhanced quality of life for the citizens of Arizona and Sonora.

Click HERE for a copy of this Press Release.

AZ Border Communities Roadmap Released

Arizona Border Communities Roadmap Released

Document outlines five game changers and a five-pronged response for border economies

PHOENIX – Governor Janice K. Brewer, together with four state agencies and several southern Arizona border communities, announces the release of the Border Communities Roadmap.

Announcing the Roadmap’s release, Governor Brewer said, “Expanding the capacity of our commercial ports of entry, strengthening our trade corridors, and developing a focused trade and transportation strategy for Arizona will foster job creation and attract new business and investment that will benefit the entire state.”

The Border Communities Roadmap is an initiative of Governor Brewer that examined and developed a strategic action plan with economic development priorities and policy direction to foster economic prosperity for Arizona’s border communities. The Roadmap process involved a collaborative effort between the Arizona-Mexico Commission, Arizona Commerce Authority, Arizona Department of Transportation, and Arizona Office of Tourism working closely with the communities of Douglas, Nogales, San Luis, Somerton, and Yuma.

As gateways, the Arizona border communities enable the flow of billions of dollars of trade and millions of cross-border travelers each year.

“Focusing on border communities’ assets and positioning them as a region will allow them to build stronger economies and compete with communities in Texas and California, thus capturing and growing Arizona’s share of cross-border trade and investment,” says Margie Emmermann, Executive Director of the Arizona-Mexico Commission.

Five game-changers or significant shifts that are catalysts for new opportunities are presented:

  1. Build upon Arizona border community assets
  2. Form new strategic alliances
  3. Harness Mexican economic shifts
  4. Leverage key commercial corridors for market connectivity
  5. Support emerging business development opportunities

The document discusses each of the game-changers in depth and presents a five-pronged action response for border communities:

  1. Build a border business case. Arizona’s strategic position to Mexico’s growing economy is a major economic asset for each border community. Understanding the bi-national economy and communicating a strong business case is imperative for Arizona’s border communities to be successful.
  2. Enhance border economic viability. The Roadmap discusses building on community assets, developing the labor force needed to meet industry demand, and focusing on business sectors that align with the economic vision.
  3. Improve border community image. Marketing and communicating about the economic opportunity of Arizona’s border communities can help change the dialogue from its current focus on security to strategic positioning of the region for business development.
  4. Strengthen relationships and foster collaborations. A concerted and coordinated public/private relationship-building effort must occur at every level – local, regional, state, and national. The Roadmap calls for the establishment of a “Border Brain Trust” – state agencies in partnership with the border communities – to move the strategic action plan forward.
  5. Focus on border infrastructure that links border communities to key commerce corridors and promotes global connectivity. Enhancing competitiveness and sustainable economic growth requires an efficient multi-modal transportation system and adequate infrastructure to meet current and projected demand.

The Border Communities Roadmap can be downloaded from the website or for more information about the project contact Chris Stoller at 602-542-1287.