From my time in Hermosillo as part of this week’s Maricopa Association of Governments trade mission to Sonora, it is clear that there is a real desire for stronger cross-border collaboration. The energy level here is palpable and there is tremendous enthusiasm to work more closely with the Ducey administration, which has gained high marks for its desire to boost trade and for its appointment of business leader David Farca as the new president of the Arizona-Mexico Commission.
Sonora is open for business. Proximity to the Arizona border is just one advantage that this region of northern Mexico uses to lure manufacturing companies, particularly in the automotive, aerospace and mining sectors.
The global supply chain really comes to life in those sectors and others in Hermosillo. We toured a firm that provides parts for Ford. Ford has a huge facility in the city that produces cars that largely supplies the U.S. market. Another company we toured, Groupe Latecoere Mexico, is a French company that manufactures the doors for Chamber member company Boeing’s 787 (for those keeping score at home, the Dreamliner is my favorite aircraft). They ship to plants in several states via the Arizona border, shining a light on the need to ensure we have the port infrastructure and staffing levels necessary to ensure we can process trade efficiently.
There are congestion points on both sides of the border. In my la
st post I touched on the bottlenecks experienced at the Querobabi military checkpoint. Additional information will be forthcoming, but from a conversation with U.S. Consul General in Hermosillo, Karen Ogle, it seems some relief is underway. There is an effort to both expand the pavement and the staffing levels to reduce this bottleneck that at its worst can delay trucks 16 hours. Our bus will travel this path coming home so I will have a firsthand account pretty soon. (I’ll have extra reading material in tow, just in case).
The final day revolves around the Port of Guaymas, which I will report on in an upcoming post. Last evening we stayed in nearby San Carlos. The scenery by the sea was exquisite. It felt a bit like when I would travel to Hawaii on business; tough to convince people it is work in such natural beauty.